Warren Lee Hill's lawyers had been arguing for years that Hill should not be sentenced to death, citing a 2002 Supreme Court decision to prohibit the execution of the intellectually disabled.
Georgia however, ranks as the toughest state in the nation to prove intellectual disability and according to the state, Hill’s lawyers did not meet those standards.
Hill was sentenced to life in prison for the 1986 killing of his 18-year-old girlfriend, who was shot 11 times. In 1991, he murdered fellow inmate Joseph Handspike by beating him with a nail-studded board and was sentenced to death.
Hill’s lawyers were able to postpone the date of execution three times before. They brought in dozens of witnesses and experts who said that Hill was not of sound mind and claimed Hill has an IQ of 70. The court finally refused the attorney’s pleas and the State Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected Hill’s clemency petition.
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After the ruling, but before Hill's death, his lawyers released a statement that said: "Tonight, Georgia will unconstitutionally execute Mr. Hill, a man with the emotional and cognitive ability of a young boy. This execution is an abomination."
Hill received a lethal injection on Tuesday and died at 7:55 pm at the state prison in Jackson, Georgia.
“Today, the Court has unconscionably allowed a grotesque miscarriage of justice to occur in Georgia,” Brian Kammer, one of Hill’s lawyers, told WBSTV. “Georgia has been allowed to execute an unquestionably intellectually disabled man, Warren Hill, in direct contravention of the Court’s clear precedent prohibiting such cruelty.”
Hill, 54, declined to give a final statement but did accept an offer to have a prayer read for him by a clergy member.