Execution Halted Over Drug Secrecy Law

Georgia law conceals identities of drug suppliers, executioners

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 16, 2013 2:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – The execution of Georgia inmate Warren Hill has been delayed at the last minute for a third time—not because experts have deemed him mentally retarded, but because of a new law that makes the identities of those supplying lethal-injection drugs a "confidential state secret." A judge granted a temporary stay of execution 4 hours before Hill was due to die to give her more time to consider the law, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Other states including Arkansas and Tennessee have introduced similar laws in an effort to dodge drug makers' attempts to stop their products from being used to kill people.

The law also allows the state to conceal the identities of doctors who administer lethal injections, a process Hill's lawyer says is a "shameful, reprehensible, cowardly way of killing people," the Guardian reports. Hill was serving a life sentence for shooting his girlfriend to death when he murdered another inmate in 1990. Experts who previously testified that he was faking mental retardation now say they were mistaken, and the US Supreme Court has agreed to consider his case in September. But it's not clear whether they will act if his execution is rescheduled before then.

The death chamber at the state prison in Jackson, Georgia.
The death chamber at the state prison in Jackson, Georgia.   (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)
This photo released by the Georgia Department of Corrections shows convicted murderer Warren Lee Hill.
This photo released by the Georgia Department of Corrections shows convicted murderer Warren Lee Hill.   (AP Photo/Georgia Department of Corrections)
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