Mentally Disabled Man’s Clemency Appeal Denied

Despite the Supreme Court’s ban on executing people with intellectual disabilities and court ruling that found that Warren Lee Hill, Jr. is “mentally retarded,” the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Parole today denied Hill’s request to commute his sentence to life in prison. The Board also denied Hill’s appeal for a 90 day stay. Brian Kramer, Hill’s attorney, was outraged by the decision, saying “[t]his shameful decision violates Georgia’s and our nation’s moral values and renders meaningless state and federal constitutional protections against wrongful execution of persons with mental retardation.” Georgia requires that retardation be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Hill’s execution is scheduled for 7pm Wednesday, but, as a last resort, Hill can appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s ban on executing the intellectually disabled has been in place since Atkins v. Virginia was decided in 2002.

Alex Brown