Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Warren Lee Hill isn't dead yet. Since his execution was set for 7 pm EST tonight, he would be dead by now if the state of Georgia had its way. Hill's intellectual functioning would seem to make him ineligible for the death penalty per US Supreme Court law, but that hasn't stopped his execution from proceeding.

Frustratingly, the Georgia Court of Appeals stay of execution was not based on the question of his mental capacity. Instead, the stay is based on arguments about Georgia's protocol for carrying out executions.

But the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals also issued a stay! And THAT stay is on the intellectual functioning question. Huzzah.

Of course, a last-minute stay doesn't ultimately mean anything. Last-minute stays are fairly commonplace. In the end, though, we still wind up killing a lot of those guys (and the very occasional gal) who received stays. I'm not in a position to know whether this stay means Hill really has a chance at avoiding execution or not. All I do know is that he's alive now and where there's life, there's hope.

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