Ga. inmate faces Friday execution

A Georgia man set to be executed on Monday for murdering a fellow inmate nearly 23 years ago received a reprieve — for now.

Warren Lee Hill now faces a Friday execution for the August 1990 slaying of Joseph Handspike, an inmate at Lee Correctional Institution at the time of his murder.

Attorneys for Hill are challenging a new state law that keeps private the names of companies that provide to the state the drugs used in lethal injections. The new law, which took effect July 1, was passed following a shortage of one of the drugs used in executions; a hearing on Hill’s challenge is scheduled for Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

Prior to Monday, Hill was also scheduled to die last year, but the state Supreme Court issued an 11th hour stay of execution. The state’s Supreme Court declined to stop the execution based on Hill’s claim that he is mentally disabled, but agreed to hold off while a change to the state’s execution protocol — in which state Department of Corrections officials said they will start using “a single drug protocol” for executions in part because of a drug shortage was challenged.

Hill was subsequently set to die in February, but a federal appeals court stepped in and ordered a halt to the execution. The court lifted the stay in April, paving the way for this month’s planned execution.

Hill was sentenced to death on Aug. 2, 1991. At the time of Handspike’s murder, Hill was serving a life sentence for murdering his girlfriend, according to state officials.

If executed, Hill will be the 31st inmate in Georgia executed by lethal injection.

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