Posted Jan. 25, 2005 – Just moments before the state of Florida was to shoot poison into Clarence Hill's veins, the Supreme Court stepped in Tuesday night and forced it to rip the IV from his arm.
That's because lawyers for the 48-year-old convicted cop killer convinced justices that the state needs to take a second look at their argument, that making state-sanctioned death painful, amounted to "cruel and unusual punishment," which is unconstitutitonal.
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Hill's lawyers say three of the chemicals used in Florida executions are painful. They also contend that their client should be spared because he is mentally retarded.
They have asked the high court to delay his date with death so he could have time to contest the chemicals that would be used to kill him, The Associated Press reported.
Hill was convicted of killing a Pensacola, Fla., police officer during a bank robbery more than 23 years ago.
The stay suggests the high court is interested in re-examining whether Hill’s civil rights were violated, even though the court rejected two other appeals Hill's lawyer had asked for under similar arguments.
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