Fight over execution order for 'mentally disabled' killer
Eleventh hour legal battle to save Georgia man with IQ of 70
- Duration 7:01
- Date Feb 19, 2013
Eleventh hour legal battle to save Georgia man with IQ of 70
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And in Macon Georgia right now waiting for word on whether he'll live or die tonight.
His name is -- hill he's a two time convicted killer but his attorneys argue that executing him would violate the constitution because he's mentally retarded.
A jury convicted him of killing his girlfriend back in 1986.
Then while in prison in 1990 he beats another inmate to death using a board -- -- nails.
Three state hired experts testified at trial that he is indeed.
Mentally able to know right from wrong but in just the last week all three of those experts changed their stories.
They say they rush their reports and that hill the guy in jail now is indeed mentally disabled.
Just minutes ago the Georgia Supreme Court ruled the execution can go forward now the Supreme Court of the United States is this man's last hope.
John Roberts with the knees he's outside the prison in Jackson Georgia John what does this new ruling -- -- -- That the dinner -- and was very pretty much brief because they are passing and on to the higher court ship they've just denied.
A stay of execution for war -- -- hill in addition.
They denied an appeal of a recent lower court ruling that found the war Leo was not mentally retarded a short time before that ruling.
His support others gathered on the steps of the Georgia capitol in downtown Atlanta.
Saying that it would be a miscarriage of justice for him to be put to death because in 2002.
The US Supreme Court ruled that it was a violation of the eighth amendment to put to death a person who is mentally retarded -- they had that that evidence.
From those three doctors -- back in 2000 said he is not mentally retarded here's what one of the doctor Thomas actually said in that recent affidavit -- My judgment that mr.
-- did not meet the criteria for mild mental retardation was in error.
The doctor going on to say that he believes mr.
hill has an IQ of approximately seventy.
His growing legion of supporters which now includes the family of his victim that he killed back in 1990 and former president Jimmy Carter are hopeful.
That one last stop here will commute his sentence of death.
To life in prison Eric -- is with the Georgia council on developmental disabilities here's what he told me.
Will we always have -- -- and hope is that they that we haven't so we hope that all those entities will -- take a look at the case.
And determined that.
Clemency or execution should be taken off the table and that -- what we believe is that rather than execution.
That he shouldn't spend the remainder of his days in prison.
Back in 2000 into that Supreme Court ruling put the determination of what exactly is mental retardation in the hands of the states and here in Georgia -- The burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt in the state insists that Warren Lee hill and his attorneys have not proven that yet.
Now that the Georgia Supreme Court has denied this stay what happens next.
Today goes to Washington to the Supreme Court as you mentioned at the top chef and his attorney.
Brian camera just filed a couple of very pointed new briefs with the Supreme Court saying that basically the Georgia Supreme Court.
Did not want to hear the new evidence presented in this case also important to note -- that there were two dissents among the seven judge panel.
That to consider this at this Georgia's Supreme Court one of those being.
The Chief Justice civil CF as the Supreme Court -- is very important issue whether that sentiment prevails or they will rule.
As the sort Georgia Supreme Court did.
And this execution will go ahead scheduled for 7 o'clock tonight but as we've seen others executions very often delayed while the Supreme Court considers has been -- John Roberts live force of the prison John thank you let's bring in some lawyers our legal panel today criminal defense attorneys -- -- And -- play -- with us -- let's start with -- the three experts that the court used.
All said he's good to go.
All three of them have now come back and said no he is mental deficiencies.
And we were wrong so what should happen.
What -- Happened is that the United States Supreme Court should stay consistent with what the global legal community says that we do not execute somebody -- intellectual disability.
Nine experts are now -- -- -- in their thought process.
That he is intellectually disabled which an easy should not be a candidate for the death penalty and not be -- that they need to stay the execution.
And let the Supreme Court here this argument out Brian.
Shepherd is a classic case -- she shoot the messenger.
That the legal system worked he went to trial yet three forensic psychiatrist testified he doesn't meet the criteria are.
For being mentally retarded now at the last second.
Though these experts come back is they gee -- And how we made a mistake.
That would compromise the entire integrity.
All of our judicial system probably -- here is if it is it's about standard that the stated Georgia house requiring.
But beyond a reasonable doubt that's the true that what -- -- standard in the United States.
That said it is the standard but Bryant that's that's exactly right and -- went to Brian and separate it -- and yet.
IQ of seventy.
Because mentally -- say will.
It doesn't it doesn't it but that's not the issue is what it it's.
Does the law in Georgia right now conflict.
With the US Supreme Court decision it does not because -- Supreme Court left it to the states to define what is mentally retarded so.
They may or may -- he's right about that the Supreme Court let.
Has the unique Georgia is unique in its -- -- if the -- Any state in the nation with such a high a standard beyond.
Doubt most other states a preponderance of evidence so there are two issues here and bulk of which are kind of mood in the fact that he has an IQ of 78 the global community.
Our national law says -- not -- to execute juveniles.
The insane or people with mental.
They're very few -- on planet -- are still execute people under system like ours and ours happens to be one of them that said that's the law of the land but but you know Brian she's right.
When she says that at seven -- you are mentally deficient by standards in the United States and all over the world.
But here's the problem shepherd.
Back back when -- three forensic psychiatrist testified at trial.
They had all the information available then that they have available now so they had every opportunity going to court say.
It is gentleman has an IQ -- was seventy he definitely needs that the definition of mentally retarded they didn't do that.
Because of -- reason probably didn't think he was mentally retarded we can't act out of sympathy now to try to usurp.
What our laws are.
If if people want to change -- they need to write a letter to her state legislators and Georgia.
Tick tock -- Anderson -- meg meg I'm done I'm sorry I'm out of time Megan and Brian made and Brian thank you both.