UPDATE ~ Texas governor grants stay of execution for death row inmate Thomas Bird at 7:38 PM ET
[JURIST] Governor Rick Perry of Texas granted a stay of execution to Frances Newton Wednesday only two hours before Newton was scheduled to die by lethal injection. Gov. Perry said in a statement that he granted the stay to allow for the retesting of gunpowder residue found on Newton's skirt using technology that was not available in 1988 when Newton was convicted of capital murder. As reported earlier today in JURIST's Paper Chase, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles had recommended that Perry grant a reprieve of the execution with a 5-1 vote. Newton would have been the first black woman executed in Texas in modern times. Read Governor Perry's press release announcing the stay here. A letter from the ACLU on Newton's behalf, typical of letters sent to Goveror Perry by other rights groups, is here. The Houston Chronicle has more.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.