Human RightsNorth America

Mentally disabled US man to be executed Tuesday

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The United States is set to execute one more mentally disabled African American prisoner despite a ban on such executions.

Fifty-four-year-old Warren Hill is on the death row in the state of Georgia where he’s scheduled to die on Tuesday.

Hill was serving life in prison for the murder of his partner but was sentenced to death after he fatally beat a fellow prisoner in 1990.

Hill’s lawyers and advocates filed a petition with the US Supreme Court on Thursday to stop the execution based on his disability.

The victim’s family as well as multiple legal and medical organizations have also called for clemency.

But Georgia has maintained that the state requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of that disability.

In 2002, the US Supreme Court ruled against the execution of mentally retarded prisoners, but left each state with the authority to determine the case.

“Every single expert who has examined him, including those retained by the state, agrees that Mr. Hill has intellectual disability,” his lawyer Brian Kammer said in a statement.

“Mr. Hill faces execution despite the fact that he has had lifelong, well-documented intellectual disability, which should exclude him from facing a death sentence,” he said.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the racial ratio of the victims of the death penalty in the US has been striking since the revival of the practice in 1976, with the penalty being disproportionately imposed on blacks and ethnic minorities.

Statistics released by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice show that 11 of the 16 executed prisoners in the state of Texas, which has been responsible for nearly 40 percent of all executions in the US since 1976, were African American or Hispanic in 2013.

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