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Georgia Stops Execution Of Mentally Incompetent Prisoner

On Monday, the state of Georgia stayed the execution of Warren Hill, another last-minute intervention in a long-lasting saga. Warren Hill, on death row for murdering his cellmate in prison, has been deemed mentally incompetent by the state. 

For as long as Warren Hill has been on death row in the state of Georgia, there's been controversy around his execution. Hill's stats as mentally incompetent is widely agreed upon -- which should bar him from execution. A 2008 Supreme Court decision, Atkins v. Virginia, ruled that under the 8th amendment (prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment), it's unconstitutional to execute the mentally handicapped. 

He was originally scheduled to be executed in February of 2013, but the 11th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in and stayed that execution. The execution was again set for Monday July 15, and then once again stayed. 

Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the ACLU said the following in a statement Monday: 

"This case is highly unusual in that no state expert disputes that Mr. Hill falls within the definition of intellectual disability. It is thus a constitutional and moral imperative that Mr. Hill's execution be stayed."

In 1990, Warren Hill killed a fellow inmate, Joseph Handspike, with a nail-studded board while he slept. Hill was already in prison for killing his girlfriend, Myra Wright.