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September 20, 2006

Will Florida execute Clarence Hill today?

Almost exactly nine months ago, at roughly 6pm on January 24, 2006, Clarence Hill was strapped to a gurney and IV lines were run into his arms as Florida's execution team awaited the expected denial of Hill's final appeal to the Supreme Court.  After about an hour in which Hill lay on the gurney anticipating his execution, Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a stay to allow the Supreme Court more time to consider whether Hill could attack Florida's lethal injection protocol through a 1983 action.

Though Hill prevailed in the Supreme Court, as detailed in this newspaper article, Florida is poised in less than twelve hours to try again to kill Clarence Hill again.  And the merits of his 1983 action have still never been considered.  Capital Defense Weekly has more on Hill's final(?) appeal to the Supreme Court, and Human Rights Watch has this interesting open letter to Florida Governor Jeb Bush urging him to postpone Hill's execution.

As I have documented via many blog posts and this recent article, much has transpired in the death penalty world over the last nine months.  However, for Clarence Hill, it appears that the story will have a particular Shakespearian quality: Hill's litigation tale seems likely to end up as one "full of sound and fury; signifying nothing." 

Speaking of "sound and fury; signifying nothing," this newspaper article also spotlights Florida Governor Jeb Bush's unsurprising reaction to the massive ABA report criticizing Florida's death penalty (details here):

''I believe that the death penalty process here is protected, correctly so, by an appeals process that is extensive,'' Bush said, adding that if anything, it is unfair to crime victims and their families.  ''It can go on for more than 10 years.  For a lot of people, that is denial of justice,'' Bush said.

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September 20, 2006 at 06:42 AM | Permalink

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» Round-Up from SCOTUSblog
At Sentencing Law and Policy, Doug Berman wonders if Florida will execute Clarence Hill today. Andrew Cohen has this column on WashingtonPost.com called "Chaos in Sentencing." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has this article highlighting the pending cer... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 20, 2006 10:51:38 AM

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