Friday, February 8, 2013

The Impending Execution of Warren Hill

Warren Hill sits on death row awaiting execution by the people of Georgia sometime during the week of 19-26 February 2013. I find few details of his crime, the most "thorough" collection coming from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals:
In 1990, while Hill was serving a life sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, he murdered another person in prison.  Using a nail-studded board, Hill bludgeoned a fellow inmate to death in his bed.  As his victim slept, “Hill removed a two-by-six board that served as a sink leg in the prison bathroom and forcefully beat the victim numerous times with the board about the head and chest as onlooking prisoners pleaded with him to stop.” Hill “mocked the victim as he beat him.” Even locked up in jail for one murder, Hill continued to kill. 
A jury unanimously convicted Hill of malice murder and unanimously imposed a death sentence. Despite the fact that [Georgia] already exempted mentally retarded persons from execution at the time of Hill’s trial, Hill did not assert at trial that he was mentally retarded.  To the contrary, Hill called clinical psychologist William Dickinson, who testified that Hill’s IQ was 77 and he was not mentally retarded.
There are many, many articles about Hill and his impending execution. They focus almost exclusively on Hill's mental competence or incompetence. In this blog, I limit myself to considering issues of actual guilt or innocence. No one, not even Hill, seems to claim that he did not kill his cellmate as described.

I oppose the execution of any person who might be innocent of the crime for which he is to die. In all other cases, I stand mute with regard to the wisdom of propriety of the execution. In the case of Warren Hill of Georgia, I stand mute.


Anonymous said...

This issue is almost always raised right before an execution. Why not before then ?

Haven said...

I've been a special education teacher for 25 years. People with an IQ of 65 to 70 definitely know right from wrong. His is higher than those. I generally oppose the death penalty. I just don't see why this is an issue with his IQ.

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