- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The latest on the last-minute decision to delay the execution of a Missouri inmate with a brain tumor (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

The state of Missouri has called off the execution of an inmate whose lethal injection was delayed by a last-minute ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Missouri Attorney General’s office spokeswoman Nanci Gonder told The Associated Press that the execution of Ernest Lee Johnson wouldn’t be carried out on Wednesday.

Johnson was scheduled to die at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The state has 24 hours to carry out the lethal injection, but Gonder said the court case wouldn’t be resolved by then.

The Supreme Court stepped in Tuesday evening, ruling that 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals needed to reconsider part of the case.

The appeals court has not scheduled a hearing.

If the courts rule that Johnson’s execution can move forward, the Missouri Supreme Court would need to set a new date.


10:40 a.m.

The execution of a Missouri man remains in limbo following the U.S. Supreme Court’s last-minute decision to delay the lethal injection.

Ernest Lee Johnson was scheduled to die at 6 p.m. Tuesday. He was convicted of fatally beating three people a claw hammer during a robbery in 1994.

But Tuesday evening, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court was asked whether it properly dismissed a complaint alleging that execution drugs could trigger painful seizures because Johnson still has part of a benign brain tumor.

The court had taken no action by mid-morning on Wednesday. The state is facing a 6 p.m. deadline, otherwise it will have to reschedule the execution.

Johnson’s attorney says it appeared unlikely the dispute would be settled by then.



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