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Federal Appeals Court Grants Killer Stay of Execution

Feb 20, 2013 -- 12:13pm

By: Kevin Karel (WRGA News)

Less than an hour before he was scheduled to be executed by the state of Georgia, convicted killer Warren Lee Hill was granted a stay by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta, giving him at least 30 more days to live.

By a 2-1 vote the federal appeals court said the evidence of Hill’s mental retardation was sufficient enough to call off the lethal injection, which was set to take place Tuesday night at Georgia’s Death Row in Jackson. According to the AJC the Georgia Court of Appeals also issued a stay of execution, based not on Hill’s mental capacity, but to review the drug used in the state’s lethal injection method.

Hill has become an international story as his lawyers and advocates claim he is mentally retarded and should be removed from death row. Hill murdered his girlfriend in 1986, and then beat his cellmate to death in 1990 while serving a life sentence for the first killing.

By both state and federal law the mentally retarded are barred from receiving the death penalty.

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