Paroles board denies clemency for condemned inmate

ATLANTA — The State Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied clemency for a man whose attorneys say he is mentally disabled.

Warren Lee Hill Jr. is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Hill was sentenced to death on Aug. 2, 1991, for slaying of a fellow inmate in August 1990 at Lee Correctional Institution. The inmate was sleeping at the time of the attack and was not able to defend himself, according to prosecutors; at the time, Hill  was already serving a life sentence for murdering a girlfriend.

Hill had a clemency hearing before the Georgia Department of Paroles and pardons on Friday. However, the board did not announce its ruling until Monday.

Hill did not claim mental retardation during his 1991 trial. However, in 1996, Lee added to a “habeas petition to allege mental retardation for the first time, and he later claimed that Georgia’s reasonable doubt standard of proof (state law) violated the Eighth Amendment,” according to an opinion from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Georgia Supreme Court on March 15, 1993, upheld the conviction and sentence, and a federal appeals court in November upheld the death sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court in June declined to intervene.

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