Hill Gets Death Sentence for 2 Clinic Slayings

<i> The Washington Post</i>

Paul Hill, the former preacher who killed a doctor and his unarmed escort with a shotgun at an abortion clinic here, was sentenced Tuesday to die in Florida’s electric chair.

In court Tuesday, Hill said little before he was given the ultimate penalty by Circuit Judge Frank Bell, who sternly concluded: “May God have mercy on your soul.”

But last week, Hill, 40, had said: “I know for a fact that I’m going to go to heaven when I die. I am certainly guilty of no crimes . . . . My actions are honorable.”


Pending appeals, Hill’s execution would complete a circle drawn in blood in Pensacola. The city has been the scene of pitched anti-abortion protests, including the bombing of clinics and the murder last year of another abortion provider, Dr. David Gunn, whose killer was sentenced to life in prison.

Hill’s victims were Dr. John Britton, 69, and retired Air Force Lt. Col. James Barrett, 74. Barrett’s wife, June, was wounded.

Although he may choose not to appeal the sentence himself, Hill is granted an automatic appeal under Florida law.