The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider a Georgia prisoner's plea for mercy based on his claim of mental incapacity.
The justices denied a petition to avoid the death penalty from attorneys for Warren Lee Hill, a twice-convicted murderer serving on Georgia's death row, even though medical experts have determined that he is intellectually disabled. The high court ruled a decade ago that people with mental retardation cannot be executed.
A separate appeal of Hill's sentence remains pending in Georgia Supreme Court.
The 52-year-old prisoner's case had galvanized the nation's disability community. The American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities filed a lengthy brief urging the court to block Hill's execution, citing experts' determinations that he is mildly retarded.