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Georgia Justice

By       Message WILLIAM FISHER       (Page 1 of 9 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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By William Fisher

 

In 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that executions of mentally retarded criminals are "cruel and unusual punishment," violating the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.

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Some time in the very near future -- as soon as a new execution date is established -- Texas will execute Warren Hill, who is mentally retarded with an IQ OF 70.

 

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How come? Texas find a back door somewhere?

 

Well, yes and no.

 

On April 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied Warren Hill's appeal to halt his execution based on new evidence of his intellectual infirmity.

 

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The Court ruled that Hill's claim of intellectual disability (mental retardation) was presented in an earlier petition and could not be presented again, despite the new evidence. The judges also held that, even if Hill's claim is a new one, it only challenges his eligibility for the death penalty, not his underlying guilt, and is therefore improper in a second petition.

 

On April 22, a divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied Warren Hill's appeal to halt his execution based on new evidence of his intellectual disability.

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William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)
 

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