Condemned Georgia inmate gets reprieve
ATLANTA (CNN) -- Georgia's Supreme Court halted Monday evening's scheduled execution of a convicted murderer while it reviews whether prison officials needed public hearings before changing the state's lethal injection procedure.
The unanimous ruling gave a reprieve to 52-year-old Warren Lee Hill, who was condemned for bludgeoning a fellow inmate to death in 1990. Hill was already serving a life term in the 1985 shooting death of his girlfriend, and he had been scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Monday.
The state announced last week that it was replacing its use of a three-drug cocktail to put prisoners to death with a single drug, pentobarbital. Hill's lawyers argued the decision required public notice under the state's Administrative Procedure Act, a question the court halted proceedings to consider.
Supporters also argue that Hill has an IQ of 70 and should be spared due to mental retardation. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the death penalty for mentally retarded criminals in 2002.