JACKSON, Ga. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay of execution for a Georgia inmate whose attorneys argue that the 59-year-old black man’s death sentence was tainted by a juror’s racial bias.
Keith Leroy Tharpe was set to be put to death at 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday at the state prison by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital. But the hour came and went as the justices considered his case. Just before 11 p.m. EDT, the court announced the temporary stay.
The justices will now decide whether to hear Tharpe’s case, but it’s not immediately clear when that decision will be made.
Tharpe was convicted of murder and two counts of kidnapping in the September 1990 slaying of Jaquelyn Freeman.