The Philadelphia Inquirer posts, "State seeks reversal of Michael execution stay," by Joseph A. Slobodzian.
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia has stayed for 14 days tonight's scheduled execution of Pennsylvania inmate Hubert L. Michael for the 1993 kidnap-murder of a York County teenage girl.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit granted the stay and remanded the case to U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III. The appeals court said Jones should explain the reasons he permitted Michael to appeal further after Jones on Wednesday denied a petition to stay the execution.
With just hours to go before Michael's 7 p.m. execution by lethal injection at Rockview state prison in Centre County, lawyers for the state Attorney General's office filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Third Circuit's ruling.
"We are extremely pleased that the federal Court of Appeals has granted Mr. Michael a stay of execution," said Helen Marino, chief of the Federal Defender's death penalty unit, which is representing Michael.
"Mr. Michael has suffered from debilitating mental conditions throughout his life. . . . The Court of Appeals recognized that there are complicated issues involved in this case that should be carefully considered.
If executed, Michael, 56, would be the first person put to death in Pennsylvania since 1999. Only three people have been executed since the state reenacted the death penalty in 1978 and all three had dropped their appeals and asked to die.
Earlier coverage of the Hubert Michael case begins at the link.