Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 19: Execution of a disabled halted, Medicaid expansion lobbying, and juvenile justice reform moves on

Day 19: Execution of a disabled halted, Medicaid expansion lobbying, and juvenile justice reform moves on

Tuesday 02/19/2013. Nineteenth day of the Georgia Legislative Session. After the long break of V-Day, the legislation came back with a vengeance. Well, more than the legislation, the events around it. Today was the lobby day for Cover Georgia, a coalition of health advocates that among others is supporting the expansion of Medicaid. Another report came out this past week showing how beneficial for Georgia the expansion of Medicaid would be. Not only for the beneficiaries, but also for the economy as job creations result of this extension of services provided.

En the early afternoon, we have a press conference rising awareness of the case of Warren Hill, a man condemned to death with an IQ of 70, and scheduled for execution today Tuesday 19th at 7pm. It is relevant to mention that Georgia is among the states with the harshest policies in to prove mental disability on death sentences, asking for ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.Despite the fact that every doctor that has revised Warren Hill has concluded he suffers from mental retardation, the fact that he is functional (a disabled that participates in society) prompted Georgia to sentence him to death. The Georgia Supreme Court has denied his appeal, and the Board of Pardons and Paroles has not given him a hearing. 30 minutes before his scheduled execution, the 11th Circuit of Appeals of the US Supreme Court agreed to review his case (stay of execution as it is called). Follow updates of this case in Facebook and Twitter.

In the afternoon, the Judiciary Civil Committee of the House passed HB242, a reform of the Juvenal judicial system of the state. The 200 page bill was presented for third time in the committee, and it was finally passed after the review of about 30 amendments. This reform has been on the works for about 6 years now, so it was a pretty big deal the fact that finally has a chance to be passed by the legislature. 

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