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Judge sets execution date for Warren Lee Hill, convicted of killing fellow Georgia inmate

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ATLANTA — An execution date was set on Friday for a Georgia death row inmate who was convicted of killing a fellow inmate.

Warren Lee Hill is scheduled to die on Jan. 27, the Georgia Attorney General's office said in an emailed statement.

Hill's lawyers have repeatedly argued that he is intellectually disabled and therefore should be spared from execution on constitutional grounds, citing a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The high court barred execution of the intellectually disabled but left it to the states to establish standards determining who qualifies for that protection. Georgia has the nation's strictest standard for proving intellectual disability, requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

"All of the states' experts have agreed, and in fact no expert who has ever examined Mr. Hill disputes that he has intellectual disability," Hill attorney Brian Kammer said in an emailed statement. He added that Georgia's standard isn't science-based and fails to protect intellectually disabled inmates.

Hill has come within hours of execution three times before winning a delay. One of the three challenges that resulted in a stay was linked to his intellectual disability.

Hill was sentenced to death in Lee County for the 1990 beating death of fellow inmate Joseph Handspike. At the time, Hill was already serving a life sentence for murder in the 1986 slaying of his girlfriend.

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PHOTO: FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Georgia Department of Corrections shows convicted murderer Warren Lee Hill. A spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said in a statement Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, that Hill's execution is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2015.  (AP Photo/Georgia Dept. of Corrections, File)

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Georgia Department of Corrections shows convicted murderer Warren Lee Hill. A spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said in a statement Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, that Hill's execution is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Georgia Dept. of Corrections, File)

 

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