In the News

Killing Warren Hill - A Radio Segment

GCDD Executive Director Eric Jacobson joins CNN Radio News to comment on the Georgia order of execution for Warren Hill, a man with an intellectual disability.

CNN Radio News, 2/19/13

To listen to the radio segment, click here.

Killing Warren Hill
By Libby Lewis

UPDATE: Twice-convicted killer Warren Lee Hill was granted final-hour stays of execution, his attorney said. For the full update click here.

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – It's funny how everyone shows up asking for mercy in the end - when mercy's all that's left.

Now they're asking for mercy for Warren Hill who's scheduled to die tonight in Jackson, Georgia. Hill has been on death row since 1991 for murdering one of his cellmates in prison. He was there for murdering his ex-girlfriend in 1985.

Now, Warren Hill's lawyers and a lot of other people are asking the state of Georgia and the U.S. Supreme Court to spare Warren Hill because of his mental retardation.

Hundreds of people have joined that list, says Hill's lawyer, Brian Kammer with the Georgia Resource Center:

[:52] "Church parishioners. The special ed directors from where Mr. Hill went to school. The victim's family. His teachers. Jimmy Carter and his wife."

The U.S. Supreme Court has banned executions of mildly mentally retarded people.

But Georgia's standard for proving mental retardation is one of the toughest in the country.

Warren Hill grew up in rural Georgia with an IQ of 70.

His sister Peggy calls him Junior . She wrote an affidavit on her brother's behalf – and said their mother and grandfather loved to beat Warren Hill on the head for being slow. Their mother used a cast iron lamp. The grandfather usually used a metal belt buckle.

[2:33] "He would shout 'You stupid retard!' Or 'You dumb-ass!' Junior wouldn't cry, though; he would just stand there and endure it. Junior was often beaten like this, by either Momma or Granddaddy, until he would lose consciousness. He would sleep for hours afterwards."

Eric Jacobson, who heads the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities says, unless the Supreme Court steps in, he thinks that Warren Hill will be executed.

[4:09] "What we're doing is working with some Georgia legislators to make sure this doesn't happen again."