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Thread: Georgia Plans to Execute a Mentally Retarded Man Tomorrow

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Georgia Plans to Execute a Mentally Retarded Man Tomorrow





    Georgia Plans to Execute a Mentally Retarded Man Tomorrow

    Warren Hill (pictured) was convicted of a 1985 murder, and was sentenced to death after being convicted of beating a fellow inmate to death in 1990. He is scheduled to be executed by the state of Georgia tomorrow evening. Warren Hill's IQ is 70. He has been found by a court to be mentally retarded. Georgia plans to kill him anyhow.

    Yesterday, a Georgia state panel rejected a clemency appeal from Hill's lawyers. How, you might ask, does a state go ahead with the execution of a man who has been found to be mentally retarded, when the Supreme Court has outlawed that very thing? Because the Supreme Court allowed states to set their own standards for implementing that stricture, and Georgia set the strictest standard in the country: "a prisoner appealing a death sentence on grounds of mental retardation must prove 'beyond a reasonable doubt' that he is in fact retarded." No other state has such a standard (as opposed to "a preponderance of evidence," the usual standard).

    Hill's lawyers have appealed to the US Supreme Court. In their motion for a stay of execution they note:
    2. A stay of execution is justified on the grounds that Petitioner's counsel has filed in this Court a Petition for Rehearing of his previously filed Petition for Writ of Certiorari presenting a substantial constitutional error. The nature of this error is that he faces (now imminent) execution despite the fact that a state court charged with determining whether Petitioner is mentally retarded actually found Petitioner to be mentally retarded by a preponderance of the evidence – a finding uncontested by the government in appeals since.1 Petitioner's problem, which is close to becoming a miscarriage of justice, is that Georgia forces people attempting to invoke death ineligibility under Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), to prove mental retardation beyond a reasonable doubt, an impossible standard by any meaningful reckoning, especially for psychiatric diagnoses. The courts below are closely divided over whether this standard "eviscerates the command of the Eighth Amendment that the mentally retarded shall not be executed, and is therefore ‘contrary to ... clearly established Federal law, as determined by [this Court].'"3
    3. Moreover, any hope that Georgia's clemency procedures would act as a "fail safe"4 to "correct injustices that the ordinary criminal process seems unable or unwilling to consider,"5 has disintegrated this morning with the denial of executive clemency.
    Unless the Supreme Court steps in, Warren Hill will die tomorrow. The American death penalty in action.

    UPDATE: The state of Georgia has rescheduled Hill's execution for this coming Monday, due to a change in lethal injection methods. His appeal to the US Supreme Court is still pending.

    Warren Hill's attorney Brian Kammer tells us: "If Warren Hill is executed, I think it would mean that Georgia no longer takes seriously what had been an admirable commitment to protecting the mentally retarded from wrongful execution. Georgia will have abandoned its moral compass."



    Georgia Plans to Execute a Mentally Retarded Man Tomorrow [Updated]
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  2. #2
    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I don't know the specifics of the crime in this case, but I have a general question. Capital punishment is usually meant only for first degree murder, meaning there had to be something premeditated about it. Can a person with an IQ of 70 really maliciously plan out a murder and understand the gravity of the crime? I know that's basically the point of the article, but how could a case like this even get this far? Did they have proof he was planning on beating an inmate to death?
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterslide View Post
    I don't know the specifics of the crime in this case, but I have a general question. Capital punishment is usually meant only for first degree murder, meaning there had to be something premeditated about it. Can a person with an IQ of 70 really maliciously plan out a murder and understand the gravity of the crime? I know that's basically the point of the article, but how could a case like this even get this far? Did they have proof he was planning on beating an inmate to death?
    There must have been more about his murder of the girlfriend.
    Also, spiking the board with nails first would indicate prior planning,IMO.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    There must have been more about his murder of the girlfriend.
    Also, spiking the board with nails first would indicate prior planning,IMO.
    Yes, I agree spiking a board with nails would be a good argument for premeditation, but doesn't the prosecution have to prove that he made the board planning to kill a specific inmate? Like I said, I don't know the particulars of this case, I'm just curious.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    The specifics of the case don't really matter here. With an IQ of 70, he should never have been found competent to stand trial in the first place. This is just wrong.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greysfang View Post
    The specifics of the case don't really matter here. With an IQ of 70, he should never have been found competent to stand trial in the first place. This is just wrong.
    ^yes, this is what I was trying to ask about in my own roundabout way.
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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    So wrong. I don't know how anyone could support this decision.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    As long as they comute it to life without parole, fine by me. I just don't want him out. Ever.
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    well, I'm the asshole who will say "I could support this"... he's clearly a menace to society. what shall they do with the asshole? he's killed while free and killed while imprisoned... shall we lock him up in a facility where he can start killing other people who are mentally retarded or insane or something? what exactly is it that should be done with this guy?
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    Kill him.
    Kill her.
    Kill It.
    Kill everything... that IS the solution!
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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    You don't kill people just because you don't know what to do with them. I agree it's a big problem but he needs to be kept separate from other inmates for a start.

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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarzy View Post
    You don't kill people just because you don't know what to do with them. I agree it's a big problem but he needs to be kept separate from other inmates for a start.
    well, apparently you can if you're mentally retarded...
    Kill him.
    Kill her.
    Kill It.
    Kill everything... that IS the solution!
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  12. #12
    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    well, I'm the asshole who will say "I could support this"... he's clearly a menace to society. what shall they do with the asshole? he's killed while free and killed while imprisoned... shall we lock him up in a facility where he can start killing other people who are mentally retarded or insane or something? what exactly is it that should be done with this guy?
    I thought about that side of it, too. I didn't think, like greys said, that someone like that is fit to stand trial. In answer to your question, what should we do with him, I'm really at an honest loss. LWOP, solitary, etc. I guess.

    But I don't think any one person said, "I don't know what else to do with this criminal, just kill him." This decision was made and remade by a number of people down the line.
    Gross, put it away. You could dress beautifully but you gotta be Miss Granny Panty Whore.
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