Georgia Is Determined To Kill Warren Hill

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Politics, The Death Penalty by chamblee54 on January 23, 2015








Georgia is stubborn when it smells blood. When the state wants to execute someone, they don’t care how bad it is going to look to the rest of the world. They don’t care how many times they have to appeal the case. Money is no object, when it comes to paying lawyers for death penalty appeals.

The latest man to be the target of the state’s bloodlust is Warren Hill. After numerous reprieves, the state is scheduled to poison Mr. Hill Tuesday, January 27. This is the first day of a seven day “execution window” specified by the Lee County judge who ordered the execution.

Why it is so important to kill Warren Hill? The execution is for the murder of Joseph Handspike. There is little doubt that Mr. Hill is guilty. The killing took place in prison. Mr. Hill was serving a life sentence for killing Myra Wright. Mr. Handspike was also incarcerated for murder. The family of Mr. Handspike does not want Warren Hill to be executed.

There is also the issue of “intellectual disability.” There is some debate over Mr. Hill’s i.q. Some say he is smart enough to be executed. The state disagrees.

“In Georgia, defendants must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” they are too mentally impaired to be executed. Despite doctors finding that Hill is likely mentally disabled, with an IQ of around 70, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) standard for mental disability, the state intends to put Hill to death because he cannot prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that he is indeed mentally disabled.”

Whether or not Mr. Hill is technically disabled, his execution will be bad p.r. for the state of Georgia. Numerous celebrities, including former President Jimmy Carter, are calling for clemency. Once again the state of Georgia looks bad. Is this something to be proud of?

It is not known why the state is so stubborn about this matter. Will it provide a deterrent to other prisoners not to kill each other? Will the execution of an intellectually disabled man make the streets safer? Or will it show the iron will of the state of Georgia? When Georgia wants to poison someone, nothing will stop it. Nothing.

This would not the first time the Georgia has executed an intellectually disabled man. Robert Holsey had an i.q. of 70, and came from a background of horrific childhood abuse. Brandon Rhode “was born in Mississippi to a young mother, who as a 15-year-old was not even aware she was pregnant for the first five months. During this time she consumed alcohol and drugs. Brandon Rhode … “definitely suffers from a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder” (FASD)… “

The execution of Mr. Rhode took a curious turn. ““Rhode tried to kill himself by slitting the side of his neck and both arms. By the time he was discovered, Rhode was unconscious and had lost half the blood in his body; he was revived at the hospital in nearby Griffin…Rhode had concealed the razor blade he used to cut his neck and arms while lying under a blanket, said Joe Drolet, a lawyer for the state attorney general’s office. He was being observed by guards, but they could not see what was happening under the blanket and took action when they saw blood.” There are reports that the razor was given to Mr. Rhode by a prison guard. This is denied by the officials. “There’s not a pattern of recklessly handing out razors to suicidal death row inmates.”

Mr. Rhode was taken to a hospital, and nursed back to health. He was then taken back to the prison. Brandon Rhode was executed September 27, 2010.

There is also the case of Troy Davis. There is little doubt that Mr. Davis was present when Mark MacPhail died. There is, however, doubt that Mr. Davis pulled the trigger. The case made the state of Georgia look very bad. It would have been easy, during the unending appeals before the execution. to quietly put the case aside. There were other killers to be executed, and provide a deterrent to those contemplating murder. However, the state was stubborn, and fought a long, expensive legal fight for the privilege of poisoning Troy Davis.

In 2013, an execution of Warren Hill was postponed. There were legal issues with the drugs the state was planning to use in the execution. The method of execution, antiseptically known as lethal injection, has had problems. The manufacturers of the pharmaceuticals, mostly European corporations, do not want their products used for executions. This is another p.r. problem.

Georgia has been using mystery drugs to poison prisoners. These substances are produced by a compounding pharmacy, whose identity is secret under state law. So far this proctocol has worked well. There have been no Oklahoma style disasters when executing men with lethal injections.

Is the state of Georgia smart enough to use the death penalty? There are some bad, bad men (and one woman) on death row. Arguably, the state needs to take these people off the planet. However, the ones who get the fatal needle are not always the ones who commit horrific crimes. In the case of Warren Hill, some stubborn bureaucrat seems to have decided that nothing will stop the state from killing him. Are these people smart enough to use this ultimate penalty?

Pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.









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  1. Blocked From Following | Chamblee54 said, on January 31, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    […] future killers, and satisfy the blood lust of the kill a crook for Jesus crowd. It is a mystery why Warren Hill is so important. ~ Is anyone aroused by scrolling to the end of 174 comments whenever facebook […]

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