A federal appeals court has granted a stay of execution for an Alabama man who was set to die next week in a 1982 murder-for-hire case.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Friday postponed the execution of Thomas Douglas Arthur until further action of the court.
Earlier in the week the court had reversed a judge's decision to dismiss Arthur's appeal, which contended that Alabama's decision to use a new sedative called pentobarbital as part of a three-drug
execution combination could be cruel and unusual punishment.
Arthur's attorneys Thursday had sought a stay while the state asked the entire 11th Circuit to reconsider the court's decision.
Arthur was set to be executed March 29 for the 1982 murder-for-hire killing of Muscle Shoals businessman Troy Wicker.
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