The Guardian reports that, for the second time in seven months, convicted murderer Warren Lee Hill, Jr. received a stay of execution in Georgia. In July, the stay came with some 90 minutes to spare. Tonight, reports indicate that only thirty minutes remained before the scheduled execution.
The Huffington Post states they have received the following from Brian Kammer, an attorney for Hill:
“We are greatly relieved that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the execution of Warren Hill, a person with mental retardation. All the doctors who have examined Mr. Hill are unanimous in their diagnosis of mental retardation, so there is no question that his execution would have been in violation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2002 ruling in Atkins v. Virginia.”
A post on CNN further notes that
The Georgia Court of Appeals acted on an appeal of a challenge to the way the prison handles the lethal injection drugs used in executions, while the federal appeals court issued a stay “ordering a further briefing on the issue of mental retardation,” Kammer said.
It remains to see what will happen as the issues that provided the basis for the stays are explored.
I grieve for Myra Wright and Joseph Handspike who were killed by Warren Lee Hill, Jr., and for their family and friends. There is no defense for his crimes.
But … The Guardian lists ten reasons not to execute Hill.. One notes that the family of Joseph Handspike opposes the execution. One cites international law. The other reasons explore dimensions of the questions related on Hill’s mental capacity. I agree with them all.
I further believe that violence begets violence. Executions do not reverse horrible crimes. They serve little purpose beyond vengeance. We have alternatives to protecting our society.
See you along the Trail.