The Supreme Court today halted the execution of Florida man convicted of killing a child in 1991—another sign the court wants executions halted as it considers the constitutionality of lethal injection. Mark Dean Schwab was scheduled to die at 6 p.m., but he will now wait until the court decides whether lethal injections constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
The Supreme Court is reviewing two cases involving Kentucky's lethal-injection procedure; Florida uses the same chemical mixture to put convicts to death. A federal court in Orlando blocked the execution for the first time yesterday, but an appeals panel overturned the ruling this morning. The Supreme Court then stepped in, as it has for executions in several states recently.