Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Help stop Georgia execution

Our friends at Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and Amnesty International have put out an urgent request for support to halt the execution of Warren Hill, which is scheduled for July 18. The deadline for signing this petition is tomorow, July 12. Here's Amnesty's quick summary of the situation:

Warren Hill is scheduled to be executed in Georgia on July 18, despite having been ruled "mentally retarded" by a preponderance of the evidence by a Georgia state judge. Executing persons with intellectual disabilities is unconstitutional, and the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has the opportunity and the responsibility to do what courts have been unable to do - prevent this execution and preserve the integrity of Georgia justice.

An op-ed in the Daily Report, a legal publication, notes that the victim's family does not want Warren Hill to be executed:

Hill's final chance for life is to plead for clemency before the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. The board's discretion to commute Hill's death sentence is Georgia's last chance to prevent an unconscionable and immoral execution.
The board now has the opportunity to show mercy and compassion to Hill by granting clemency and by commuting his sentence to life without parole. The victim's family has expressed its support for commutation. By acceding to their wishes, the board can act as the "fail safe" necessary when the legal machinery of our capital punishment system makes a mistake.
Further, granting mercy to Hill would finally acknowledge the nationally recognized safeguards for defendants with developmental and intellectual disabilities on death row, and protect the constitutionally mandated rights of men and women with these disabilities.

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