Warren Hill granted stay of execution

10:34 AM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- With minutes to go before his scheduled execution, Warren Hill was granted a stay of execution.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay, meaning Hill will not be executed tonight.

Both the US and Georgia Supreme Courts denied stays of execution for Hill.

The Georgia court's 5-to-2 decision was released Tuesday afternoon, hours before Hill's 7 p.m. execution time.

On Monday, Georgia Judge Thomas Wilson also declined to consider a request for habeas relief for Hill.

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Hill's lawyers have argued he is mentally disabled and therefore shouldn't be executed. Georgia law prohibits the execution of mentally disabled offenders.

The state has argued the defense failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hill is mentally disabled.

Hill's lawyers asked the judge to consider new evidence in the case. They submitted statements from three doctors who originally testified in 2000 that Hill was not mentally disabled. All three doctors have since changed their opinion and now say he is mentally disabled.

The judge says the request for reconsideration is procedurally barred and that the new evidence doesn't establish a miscarriage of justice.

Hill was sentenced to death in Lee County after killing a fellow inmate in 1990. At the time, he was in prison for shooting his 18-year-old girlfriend to death in 1986.

(Associated Press)

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