An Oklahoma court halted a scheduled execution of a man amid concerns that he may be innocent, media reports said. Richard Glossip, who was convicted of murder in 1977, was set to be executed Wednesday.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals issued the order of a temporary reprieve about three hours before Glossip's execution over the death of motel owner Barry Van Treese. The emergency stay of execution will remain in effect until Sept. 30.
"Due to Glossip's last minute filing, and in order for this court to give fair consideration to the materials included with his subsequent application for post-conviction relief, we hereby grant an emergency stay of execution for two weeks," the court wrote, according to CNN.
Glossip was convicted twice for ordering the killing of his boss, but his lawyers claim there is new evidence to be reviewed in the case that would prove his innocence. His co-worker Adam Sneed was convicted of fatally beating Treese, the owner of the Oklahoma City motel where they both worked.
After the stay was issued, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin issued a statement saying the "court is the proper place for Richard Glossip and his legal team to argue the merits of his case."
"My office will respect whatever decision the court makes, as we have throughout this process," Fallin said.
Glossip's execution was set to be conducted by lethal injection, a process that has been criticized in the United States after several botched attempts. Three different inmates -- Dennis McGuire in Ohio, Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma and Joseph Wood in Arizona -- reportedly experienced pain during executions last year. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of using the drug in June.