Jenner & Block

“Save Mentally Retarded Inmate From Execution,” USA Today

Jenner & Block Partner Lindsay C. Harrison wrote a widely published column regarding the state of Georgia’s plans to execute a mentally retarded inmate. Titled “Save Mentally Retarded Inmate From Execution,” the column ran in USA Today on July 15, the day Warren Lee Hill Jr. was scheduled to be executed.  Later that day, a Georgia judge issued a temporary stay blocking the execution.  Lindsay’s USA Today column revisits the points she and Associate Rukku Singla raised in an amicus brief they filed in the case.  Because the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 prohibits prisoners from filing more than one habeas petition challenging violation of their constitutional rights, Lindsay argues that Mr. Hill must file an “original” habeas petition with the U.S. Supreme Court.  Lindsay’s column was picked up in The StandDown Texas Project, the Fond du Lac Reporter and the Pensacola News Journal.  Meanwhile, the state court judge who postponed Mr. Hill’s execution is scheduled to hold a hearing on the topic on July 18.  During the July 15 hearing, Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan said she wanted more time to consider a new state law that shields the identities of those who make and supply Georgia’s lethal-injection drugs.