The U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution of a man convicted of killing his parents in the nation's busiest death penalty state after already agreeing to review another state's lethal injection procedures. The high court, which refused a similar appeal earlier this week from another Texas inmate, blocked state corrections officials Thursday night from executing 28-year-old Carlton Turner Jr. The order came less than two hours before the death warrant would have expired at midnight.
Turner's lawyers had linked his case with an appeal from two Kentucky inmates who argued that lethal injection is unconstitutionally cruel. Both states use similar injection procedures employing three drugs.
The justices on Tuesday agreed to consider the Kentucky appeal, and Turner's case was viewed as a barometer of whether capital punishment in Texas could be placed on hold while the Supreme Court considers that case.