Court Blocks Another Execution

Supreme Court decision may halt all lethal injections for months
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2007 10:38 PM CDT
A relative, left, hugs Jena Watson, the daughter of Mary Bounds, the 1987 kidnapping and murder victim, after a news conference with state Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps, following...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Supreme Court tonight stayed the execution of a Mississippi murderer just before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection, a decision that will likely bring a temporary halt to such executions nationwide, the New York Times reports. The fate of this prisoner and others won't be decided until the spring, when the court reviews whether lethal injections constitute "cruel and unusual" punishment.

Earl Berry has been waiting to be executed 19 years for the murder of a 56-year-old woman he kidnapped and beat to death. He raised no appeal based on the execution method until a few days ago, when he joined a growing number of inmates to do so. States will likely postpone any subsequent executions until the court decides on a case from Kentucky, the Times says.