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Georgia Executes Non-Retarded Repeat Killer

The State of Georgia tonight executed repeat murderer Warren Lee Hill, whose lawyers claimed he was intellectually disabled (formerly called mentally retarded) and therefore ineligible for capital punishment.

As the majority of the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit noted, the evidence that Hill was not retarded was compelling.  He joined the Navy and was steadily promoted up the enlisted ranks to E-5.  "Hill was eligible for an E-6 promotion in the military; however, he was demoted not because of any mental inability, but because he murdered his girlfriend."

Although it is possible for a mildly retarded person to serve in the lower ranks, you don't rise that far if you are retarded by any reasonable definition of the term.  Atkins v. Virginia is based on a national consensus that we should not execute retarded people, and its application should be limited to people who fit the concept of retardation that produces that consensus.  If psychologists expand the label to apply to people who do not, that labeling should not be controlling.

Within prison he killed again, and that is the crime he was executed for.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay 7-2.

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