The Commission on Capital Cases was not funded in the FY 2011-2012 General Appropriations Act, and the Commission ceased operations on June 30, 2011. This site and the Commission website are being retained to provide access to historical materials.

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These actions are effective July 1, 2011.

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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
HillPaul 459364CCRC-NCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
9/3/2003  Executed

Current Attorney


Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
Direct Links

The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

The Commission on Capital Cases updates thisinformation regularly. This information, however, is subject to change and maynot reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied onfor statistical or legal purposes.


HILL, PaulJennings (W/M)

DC #   459364

DOB: 02/06/54


First JudicialCircuit, Escambia County, Court Case # 94-3510

Federal DistrictCourt Case # 94-3118

SentencingJudge:  The Honorable Frank L. Bell

TrialAttorney:  Pro Se

Attorney, DirectAppeal:  Michael R. Hirsh, Esq. & Roger J. Frechette, Esq.


Date ofOffense:                      07/29/94

Date of StateSentence:            12/06/94

Date of FederalSentence:         12/02/94


Circumstancesof Offense:


On July 29,1994, Paul Hill, an anti-abortion activist, shot Dr. John Britton, JamesBarrett and June Barrett outside a Pensacola, Florida, clinic where abortionswere performed.  Dr. Britton and James Barrett were killed in theshooting.  Mrs. Barrett was injured.


On the morningof July 29, James Barrett and his wife June, both volunteers at the LadiesCenter, met Britton, a doctor who performed abortions at the airport, andacting as escorts, drove him to the center.  They arrived at the center ina pickup truck driven by James Barrett.  Hill was waiting for them outsidethe center.  As Mr. Barrett exited the truck, Hill shot and killed JamesBarrett and wounded June Barrett.  He then shot and killed Dr.Britton.  Hill was arrested shortly thereafter while walking away from thecenter.



State Trial Summary:


08/09/94         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II          First-Degree Murder

                                   Count III          AttemptedFirst-Degree Murder

                                   Count IV          Shooting Into anOccupied Vehicle

11/02/94         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

11/03/94         Jury recommended two death sentences by votes of 12-0

12/06/94         Sentenced as follows:

Count I Death

CountII           Death

CountsIII-IV   160.75 years

The following information comes fromJudge Bell’s sentencing order:




X – It is further orderedthat the composite term

for all sentences imposedfor the counts specified

in this order shall run

(check one) X consecutiveto ____ concurrent

with the following:

(check one)


____ any active sentence beingserviced.


X_ specific sentences:FEDERAL





Federal TrialSummary:


08/12/94         Indicted as follows:

                                   Counts I-III      Injuring and Interfering inProviding Reproductive

                                                           Health Services

                                   Count IV          Firearms charge

10/05/94         Jury returned guilty verdicts onall counts of the indictment

12/02/94         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Counts I-II       Life Imprisonment, concurrent

                                   Count III          120 months,concurrent

                                   Count IV          60 months,consecutive







On 09/27/94, astate Faretta hearing was held to determine if Hill would be allowed to act ashis own counsel.  At the hearing, the trial court allowed Hill torepresent himself, with a court-appointed attorney on “stand-by” in case Hillrequested help and to represent him if necessary.



State AppealsSummary:


Florida Supreme Court - Direct Appeal

FSC # 84,838

688 So.2d 901


12/12/94         Appeal filed

11/27/96         FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence

03/06/97         FSC denied motion for rehearing

04/09/97         Mandate issued


U.S. Supreme Court - Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC # 96-1957

522 U.S. 907


06/04/97         Petition filed

10/06/97         USSC denied Petition


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC # 94-3510


10/06/98         Motion filed

12/18/98         CC dismissed motion


FloridaSupreme Court – Application for Stay of Execution

FSC# 03-1451


08/26/03         Application filed

08/28/03         FSC dismissed Application

08/28/03         Motion for Reconsideration filed

08/28/03         State’s Response

08/29/03         Motion for Reconsideration denied

08/29/03         Supplemental Authority filed




FederalAppeal Summary:


UnitedStates Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, Appeal

USCA # 94-3600


01/06/95         Appeal filed

02/14/95         USCA dismissed Appeal





07/09/03         Death warrant signed by GovernorBush. Execution set for 09/03/03.

08/26/03         Application for Stay of Execution filed (Dismissed 08/28/03)




Hill filed adirect appeal with the Florida Supreme Court in 1994.  He argued that thetrial court did not inform him of the difficulty of self-representation whileunder incarceration, adding that he was not sufficiently educated andexperienced in the law to understand the difficulty in presenting adefense.  Hill also argued that the court erred in allowing the state’smotion to prevent him from presenting evidence concerning abortion and hisviews on abortion as a defense for his actions.  The two arguments andother guilt phase and penalty phase arguments were rejected by the court in its1996 affirmation of Hill’s conviction and sentence.  The defendant’srequest for a rehearing was denied the following year.


The defendantthen petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari in 1997, whichthe court denied in the same year.


Hill filed a3.850 motion with the Florida Circuit Court on 10/06/98 that was dismissed bythe same court on 12/18/98.


Michael Hirshand Richard Frechette, on Hill’s behalf, filed an Application for Stay ofExecution on 08/26/03 that was dismissed on 08/28/03.  Hirsh and Frechettefiled a Motion for Reconsideration on 08/28/03, which was denied on08/29/03. 


Paul Hill wasexecuted on 09/03/03.



Reportdate:    03/28/01         TB                  

Approved:      03/28/01          WHS

Updated:        09/05/01         JFL                 08/29/03          EW

07/10/03         EMC               09/04/03          EW

08/26/03         JFL

08/27/03         JFL

08/28/03         JFL