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‘Intellectually Disabled’ Man Executed in Georgia

Last night, officials in Georgia executed inmate Warren Lee Hill, a convicted murderer who his lawyer say was intellectually disabled. Hill was found guilty of killing his girlfriend, as well as, a fellow prisoner. His lawyers say that Hill had an IQ of just 70 and possessed the “emotional capacity” of a child. State and federal courts had previously halted his execution by lethal injection on two different occasions, but last night, the Supreme Court decided to not grant another stay.

The decision to execute Hill has brought Georgia’s controversial standard for proving intellectual disability into new light. U.S. Constitution prohibits intellectually disabled people from being executed. In Georgia, the burden of proof to be classified as intellectually disabled lies with the defendant, but because diagnosis can be subjective in nature proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” is a difficult standard. All three doctors who initially testified in an earlier murder trial in 2000 that Hill was not intellectually disabled, wrote letters to the courts recanting their diagnosis, saying they were rushed. All three of the doctors now say Hill was intellectually disabled …

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