Monday, July 15, 2013

The One Hill Georgia Lawmakers Can't Get Over

Georgia has a landmark called Stone Mountain. It's a huge chunk of rock soaring 825 feet into the sky, and it looks impossible to climb. But lately Georgia lawmakers have had more trouble with a six-foot hill--Warren Lee Hill, that is. The man who simply cannot be executed.

Hill was originally convicted for murdering his girlfriend, which earned him a life sentence. While in jail, he used a nail-studded board to murder his cellmate Joseph Handspike  (how ironic is that?). Hill was given the death penalty for that murder, but the state has had a devil of a time carrying that sentence out.

Last year, Hill's first execution was stayed when his lawyers challenged Georgia's switch from a three-drug lethal injection to a single drug process. Hill then came within an hour of execution in early 2013, but was given another stay when his lawyers argued that their client was mentally retarded. Hill was issued another date with death tonight, but the execution was halted for a third time at the last minute because Hill's lawyers claimed that the new drug used in Georgia's lethal injection process might be unsafe.

Yes, you heard me right. A drug that's designed to kill a person might be hazardous to your health. Hill's lawyers are also arguing that the steel bars on the prison's jail cells are too hard, and the ice in the prison cafeteria's drinks is too cold.