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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence for Abortion Doctor Murderer

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the death sentence for Paul Hill, who was convicted of murdering an abortion doctor and a volunteer clinic escort in 1994.

A Connecticut lawyer had appealed on the grounds that Hill should not have been permitted to act as his own trial lawyer. The Supreme Court said Hill, who did not authorize any appeals on his behalf, had “knowingly and intelligently waived” the right to a lawyer. There have never been allegations regarding Hill’s mental competency.

Hill, 43, was convicted of murdering Dr. John Bayard Britton and his volunteer escort James Barrett, outside a Pensacola, Florida abortion clinic. He also shot and injured Barrett’s wife.

Hill says he welcomes his execution, because he believes it will incite more people to use violence against abortion providers, thereby preventing abortions. “I think I can save more people dead than alive,” he said.

Sources:

AP - October 6, 1997

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