Texas execution of Henry Skinner halted over DNA appeal
The US Supreme Court has stayed the execution of a convicted murderer, less than an hour before he was due to die, after an appeal for new DNA tests, BBC reported.
Henry Skinner was convicted in Texas in 1995 of the murders of his girlfriend and her two sons.
Skinner, who is now married to a French campaigner against the death penalty, had called for new DNA testing to prove his innocence.
His appeal received the support of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The French ambassador to the US has asked the Texas governor to pardon Skinner or halt the execution.
The stay of execution grants a delay but does not ensure the DNA tests will be carried out.
Skinner, 47, was told about the reprieve as he waited in a holding cell next to the death chamber in Huntsville, Texas.
"I had made up my mind I was going to die," he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
"I'm eager to get the DNA testing so I can prove my innocence and get the hell out of here. I'm greatly relieved. I feel like I really won today."