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US President Donald Trump has cancelled his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" in a recent North Korean statement. North Korea carried out what it said is the demolition of its nuclear test site Thursday.
The U.S. state of Georgia has rejected an appeal made by France to spare the life of American inmate, Warren Lee Hill, Jr. His execution is still set for Wednesday, for a shooting murder in 1986 and a 1991 killing of an inmate, unless the American Supreme Court intervenes.
“France is expressing its concern for Warren Hill’s situation, an American citizen who has shown signs of being mentally disabled, and was condemned to death in 1991 by the state of Georgia,” said Bernard Valero, the spokesperson from the French ministry of foreign affairs.
Georgia eliminated capital punishment for the mentally disabled in 1988, but it requires that the prisoner prove retardation beyond a reasonable doubt. In 2002, the Supreme Court banned the death penalty for mentally disabled prisoners, but left it at the discretion of each state to decide who falls into that category.
Mild retardation is defined by a person with an IQ level between 50-70 points. In the case of Hill, tests had shown him to have an IQ of 70. However the state of Georgia has one of the highest standards for death penalty defendants who raise such claims.
France made its appeal to the state of Georgia, as a “first step to abolishing the death penalty” worldwide, added Valero. The death penalty was officially banned in France in 1981, with the last prisoner executed in 1977.