The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling Tuesday that federal law barred it from overturning a Georgia law that requires defendants to prove they are mentally disabled beyond a reasonable doubt _ the most stringent legal standard.
It said death row inmate Warren Lee Hill failed to prove that “no fair-minded jurist could agree” with a Georgia court’s decision on the standard. It said it couldn’t strike down Georgia’s rules “even if we believe it incorrect or unwise.”
Four of the court’s 11 judges dissented, arguing that the standard violates the constitutional rights of mentally disabled offenders.