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Georgia gives “mentally retarded” inmate July 15 execution date

Despite having an IQ of only 65, Jerome Bowden chose his last words carefully: "I hope this thing that's happening to me will put some light on this thing that's wrong." Two years after he was executed by electric chair in Georgia in 1986, his wish came true when the state legislature made the Peach Tree State the first in the nation to outlaw the execution of "mentally retarded" convicts. But twenty seven years and one month later, the state is poised to execute another man whom almost everyone agrees suffers from extreme mental challenges.

In February, Warren Hill came within 30 minutes of being put to death before a federal appellate court delayed his execution until it could consider his claim of "mental retardation" (the term used by the state). This week, the state set a new execution date for July 15, even though it's waiting to hear from the U.S. Supreme Court and the lacks the drug it uses for lethal injections.

"All experts who have evaluated Warren Hill agree: he is mentally retarded. Mr. Hill’s execution would therefore be a grotesque miscarriage of justice and render the Eighth Amendment a mere paper tiger," Hill's attorney Brian Kammer said.

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