Inmates Andrew Cook and Warren Lee Hill have had their execution dates postponed by the state of Georgia.
According to the Daily Mail, Hill's execution has been halted 30 minutes before he was scheduled to receive the lethal injection, at 7 p.m., Tuesday night. Underdeveloped mental capacity has been cited in the decision to postpone enforcing the death penalty.
In 1990, Hill was granted the sentence after using a nail-studded board to kill a fellow prisoner, while jailed for shooting his girlfriend Myra Wright 11 times. He was serving a life sentence for murdering Wright in 1986.
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided to halt the execution based on the convict's “mental retardation,” a claim originally dismissed by the first physician to examine Hill.
“Having reviewed my earlier evaluation results and the far more extensive materials from the record of this case, I believe that my judgment that Mr Hill did not meet the criteria for mild mental retardation was in error,” dr. Thomas Sachy has written in an affidavit last week, going back on his decision to declare Hill mentally fit.
Andrew Cook has also been granted a stay of execution, initially scheduled for today, at 7 p.m. 41 NBC reports that a request for clemency in Cook's case has been denied. However, the Georgia Court of Appeals has agreed to postpone the execution.
The Georgia Attorney General's website lists Cook as responsible for killing two Mercer University students on January 2, 1995, by Lake Juliette in Monroe County. He used an AR-15 rifle and a 9-mm handgun to fire 19 times at the students' vehicle.
After reportedly picking out the pair randomly, he was discovered when DNA found at the scene was matched to his. He dragged the female student out of the car and spat on her, leaving DNA traces behind.