While Georgia officials are planning to execute death row inmate Troy Davis for a 1989 murder, the U.S. Supreme Court for the second time this week granted a stay of execution in a Texas case involving an Army recruiter convicted of raping and killing a woman he met at a bar.
The court stayed the execution of Cleve Foster, 47, who was set to die Tuesday in Huntsville. Foster was convicted of the rape and slaying of a woman he met while at a Fort Worth bar in 2002. He is one of two men convicted and sent to death row for killing the 30-year-old woman whose body was found in a ditch in February that year.
Foster said that another man who was with him at the bar killed the woman. His partner died last year of cancer.
The high court offered the stay of execution because it needed more time to consider whether grant Foster an appeal, according to the Los Angeles Times and other media.
The court prevented foster from entering the death chamber twice this year because there was dispute involving the drug to be used for the lethal injection, the LA Times reported.
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The AP said the latest came some two hours before Foster was taken to a Texas death chamber. The news agency said Foster was meeting with one of his lawyers in a holding cell close to the death chamber when a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman brought the news.
He thanked God and pointed to his attorney, saying this woman helped save his life, prison spokesman Jason Clark told The AP.
Clark also said Foster reiterated that he is an innocent man.
I did not do this crime, Foster reportedly told him. I know there are those out there who have hard feelings against me, but I did not do this.
Last week, the high court also blocked the execution of Duane Buck, who is a convicted murderer from Houston. Buck has said prosecutors used his race to persuade the jury to give him a death sentence rather than life in prison.
These eleventh hour executions came on the heels of Texas Gov. Rick Perry stating his confidence in his state's ability to have a fair and clear process for deciding who should be sent to the death chamber for their crimes, according to reports.
Over in Georgia, death row inmate Davis is set to die at 7 p.m. on Wednesday for killing an off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail on Aug. 19, 1989, while the officer ran to help a homeless man being beaten.
A majority of those witnesses have since recanted their testimonies since the 1991 conviction, noting that police forced them to implicate Davis.
The Georgia pardons board on Tuesday denied clemency for Davis, leaving him with little option of avoiding the death chamber. In a last-minute move to save his life, Davis' attorneys have told The AP they are filing an appeal to stop his execution.
Defense attorney Brian Kammer told The AP that he will be filing the in Butts County Superior Court, south of Atlanta, on Wednesday. That appeal will be asking a judge to block the execution, and it will argue that ballistic testing that linked Davis to the shooting was flawed.
Davis' lawyers have said their client is a victim of mistaken identity. However, prosecutors paint a different picture of the inmate, stating they haven't any doubt that they charged the right person with the crime, according to The AP.