US Supreme Court grants murderer last-minute reprieve
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Supreme Court granted a last-minute stay to a convicted murderer who is challenging the drugs prison officials had planned to use on Wednesday for his execution.
Herbert Smulls was to be executed overnight by the state of Missouri, but Justice Samuel Alito granted him a reprieve late on Tuesday, amid ongoing controversy over the use of lethal pentobarbital manufactured by a compounding pharmacy whose identity has not been revealed.
A central US appeals court also suspended the execution but has yet to issue its final decision.
Alito, the justice assigned to cases from the region of the United States that includes Missouri, is expected to rule soon on a similar petition from Louisiana inmate Christopher Sepulvado, due to be put to death next week.