Document - USA: Further information: Stay of execution holds in Georgia case: Warren Hill

URGENT ACTION

Further information on UA: 197/12 Index: AMR 51/50/2013 USA Date: 22 July 2013

URGENT ACTION

Stay of execution holds in Georgia case

Warren Hill’s execution warrant expired at noon on 20 July with the stay of execution granted by a state judge still in place.

On 12 July, Warren Hill’s lawyers filed an emergency motion in county court in Georgia challenging the current state of affairs relating to Georgia’s lethal injection process. Their claim centres on legislation recently passed by the Georgia legislature in the face of the state’s ongoing problems in obtaining drugs for lethal injections. The legislation classifies as a “confidential state secret”, and thereby purports to shield from judicial review, any “identifying information” relating to those who participate in or administer lethal injection, and to those individuals or entities which manufacture, supply, compound or prescribe the “drugs, medical supplies, or medical equipment” used in lethal injection executions.

About three hours before the execution was due to be carried out on the evening of 15 July, Judge Gail Tusan issued a stay and scheduled a hearing for 18 July. The state reset the execution for 19 July, but after the hearing on 18 July, Judge Tusan kept the stay of execution in place in order that she could have time to rule on the merits of the issues raised.

Although the state said that it intended to appeal the stay to the Georgia Supreme Court, in the end it did not do so.

Still pending before the US Supreme Court is a petition on Warren Hill’s claim of mental retardation.

The timing relating to when Warren Hill could face another execution date in the event that the state successfully sees off legal challenges is unknown. At the moment he is considered “safe” until at least early September 2013. He has faced four execution dates in the past year,

Warren Hill was sentenced to death in 1991 for the 1990 murder of fellow prisoner Joseph Handspike.

There have been 20 executions in the USA this year, bringing to 1,340 the number of prisoners put to death nationwide since 1976 when the US Supreme Court approved revised capital laws.

No further action is requested at present. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

This is the fifth update of UA 197/12. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/049/2013/en

Name: Warren Hill

Gender m/f: M

Further information on UA: 197/12 Index: AMR 51/050/2013 Issue Date: 22 July 2013

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