The Supreme Court temporarily halted the execution of Texas inmate Lester Bower Thursday, as it considers a full appeal that could prevent the state from putting him to death after three decades on Death Row.
One of Texas’s longest-serving inmates, Bower was convicted in the 1983 murder of four men in an airplane hangar and scheduled to die by lethal injection Feb. 10.
Bower, who has maintained his innocence, has asked the Supreme Court to consider, among other things, whether executing an inmate who has been on death row for three decades represents cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment.
His lawyers also claimed that during the trial, prosecutors argued that he was one of just a few people in Texas who possessed special ammunition that they said was used in the murders. Following the trial, Texas disclosed evidence that falsified the prosecution’s theory.
In its one-page stay, the Supreme Court said the stay would expire if it decided to hear and rule on Bower’s full appeal.