Cleve Foster received a last minute stay of execution from U.S. Supreme Court today (Read court order here). More than 60 people gathered at the Texas Capitol to protest the execution rejoiced at the news received from a phone call from other protesters gathered in Huntsville.

A former Army recruiter who maintained his innocence in the rape-slaying of a woman in Fort Worth nine years ago has received a reprieve from execution Tuesday evening.

Forty-seven-year-old Cleve Foster’s lethal injection was stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court so it can further review an appeal. In the court’s brief order, Justices Antonin Scalia and Sam Alito indicated they would have allowed the punishment to proceed.

Foster has insisted a friend was responsible for fatally shooting 30-year-old Nyaneur Pal, who had fled Sudan for Texas. The friend, Sheldon Ward, one of Foster’s recruits, also was condemned for the slaying. He died of cancer last year while in prison. Foster’s lawyers said the evidence did not support his conviction.

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