The state president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Edward DuBose, said Warren Lee Hill is mentally disabled and should not be put to death.
“What we’re saying is Georgia is about to engage in an extremely barbaric and inhumane act,” DuBose told WALB-TV. “To kill a person who may not even be able to appreciate the fact that he is being executed.”
The group conducted rallies in Albany and other cities Friday, and it is planning vigils Monday asking Gov. Nathan Deal to block the execution.
The state has denied the execution should be postponed, and it is planning to use a new procedure during Hill’s scheduled lethal injection.
Hill was sentenced to die for the 1990 beating death of fellow inmate Joseph Handspike. His lawyers are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the execution because of what they argue is new evidence in the case.
Hill bludgeoned Handspike with a nail-studded board while his victim slept, authorities said. At the time, Hill was already serving a life sentence for the 1986 slaying of his girlfriend, Myra Wright, who was shot 11 times.
Hill’s lawyers have long contended he is mentally disabled and should not be executed because the execution of mentally disabled offenders is prohibited by state law and a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The state has argued that Hill’s mental disability has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The NAACP said the state should take review its requirements to have someone declared mentally disabled.
“I think until we change the law we will deal with this over and over again,” said DuBose.
The state plans to use a compounding pharmacy to obtain an execution drug for Hill, making it one of the first states to acknowledge using these pharmacies as execution drugs become increasingly difficult to get.
The state’s supply of pentobarbital expired in March, and it has become tougher for states to get the drug because the manufacturer has said it does not want it used in executions.