The certificate of death has been signed for Warren Hill, 52, for the 1990 murder of his inmate Joseph Handspike with a spiked board, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
His sanctioned-murder is being heavily contested because Hill, already serving a life sentence for killing his girlfriend, was previously declared mentally disabled by a judge.
The AJC reports:
“Executing Warren Hill, a 52-year-old man whom a court has found to be more likely than not mentally retarded, would be a terrible miscarriage of justice,” said Brian Kammer, one of Hill’s lawyers. Kammer said he will ask the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant Hill clemency.
In 1988, Georgia became the first state in the nation to ban executions of the mentally disabled. Lawmakers enacted the law in response to the 1986 execution of Jerome Bowden, who had been found to have the mentality of a 12-year-old.
In passing the law, the Legislature required capital defendants to prove “mental retardation” beyond a reasonable doubt, the same standard required of juries to convict someone of a crime. Today, Georgia is the only state in the country that sets such a high burden of proof for such claims.