Florida death row inmate asks Supreme Court to stay execution again

Florida death row inmate asks Supreme Court to stay execution again

[JURIST] Clarence Hill [NCADP profile; FLDOC profile], a convicted murderer on death row in Florida [JURIST news archive], filed a petition Monday asking the US Supreme Court to stay his execution scheduled for Wednesday. The petition follows Friday's decision [opinion, PDF] by the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit denying a motion to stay the execution while Hill pursues an appeal arguing that Florida's method of lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment [text]. In the per curiam opinion, a three-judge panel wrote:

With Hill's execution scheduled to be carried out within a matter of days from our receipt of the instant motion, we decline to engage in that protracted, and ultimately futile, sequence of events.

Instead, we dispose of Hill's motion by denying his request for an injunction based upon our independent analysis of the equities.

The Supreme Court remanded Hill's case to the 11th Circuit in June [JURIST report], holding [opinion text] that a death row inmate can challenge the constitutionality of a state's lethal injection method under 42 USC 1983 [text] even when all other appeals have been exhausted. The court stayed Hill's execution [JURIST report], originally scheduled for January 2006, to consider the case.

Also Monday, Amnesty International USA [advocacy website] called on Florida Gov. Jeb Bush [official website] to stay Hill's execution to declare a moratorium on others in the state. AIUSA noted [press release] that an American Bar Association panel studying capital punishment in Florida [ABA materials] issued a report [DOC text; DOC summary] last week concluding that the state fails to meet basic standards of fairness and justice. Hill received the death penalty [JURIST news archive] for murdering a Pensacola police officer in 1982. Gannett News Service has more. AP has additional coverage.