Judge grants Warren Hill a stay of execution - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Judge grants Warren Hill a stay of execution

Warren Hill Warren Hill

A death-row inmate gets another last-minute reprieve.

A Fulton County judge granted an indefinite stay for Warren Hill, who was scheduled to die by lethal injection Friday night.

Hill's lawyers successfully argued that the state does not disclose the name of the company that supplies pentobarbital, one of the drugs used in execution.

Defense lawyers said there is no way to know if the drug is safe or if could lead Hill to suffer which, they said, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan agreed, saying that secrecy violates Hill's constitutional rights.

Tusan made her ruling as Hill's lawyers worked up to the last minute to spare his life.

The state argued it does not release the names of the companies that make the drug out of fear or retaliation against those companies.

The state also said it does not matter if the drug is tainted because the drug would render Hill unconscious before he could feel any negative effects.

Hill was sentenced to death for beating and killing a fellow inmate in 1990.

Hill's lawyers also have argued he should not be killed because he is mentally disabled and has an IQ of 70.

Execution of mentally disabled people is banned by state law and the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state planned to appeal the ruling at Georgia Supreme Court, which could vacate the Fulton County court's ruling.

That would mean Hill could still be executed on Friday.

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