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Supreme Court Blocks Texas Execution

Huntsville Walls Unit.jpg
Image courtesy
The Walls Unit at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville, where the state conducts executions. A death row inmate's scheduled execution has been stayed by the US Supreme Court.

The US Supreme Court has blocked tonight's scheduled execution of Texas inmate Cleve Foster. 

The high court agreed this morning to consider a review the grounds for Foster's appeal of his death sentence.

Foster's execution would have been the first in Texas to use pentobarbital as part of its lethal three-drug mix. 

"This stay does not have to do with the litigation surrounding the lethal injection and the new protocol adopted by the TDCJ [Texas Department of Criminal Justice]," said Maurie Levin, one of Foster's attorney in the appeals process.

"We're relieved that, not only that they'll be considering the issues raised on the appeal, but that there is now time, and Texas doesn't have to rush to execute, in light of all the questions that have been raised regarding the legality of the lethal injection protocol," Levin added.

His attorneys have also claimed that TDCJ made its decision to use pentobarbital too quickly and without any public comment or oversight.  The department made the change after the provider of one of the drugs used previously, sodium thiopental, stopped shipping it. Texas’ supply of that drug expired last month.

Ian Crawford joined KUT as News Editor in 2008, after spending over four years as a reporter/anchor at KLBJ Radio in Austin. He began his broadcasting career while still in high school in Southern Oregon. During high school and college at the University of Oregon, he worked at times as a reporter, news anchor, sports play-by-play reporter, music host and commercial producer before moving to Texas in 2003.
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