Texas set to put to death man who received three stays of execution

Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:29pm EDT

Cleve Foster in an undated photo. REUTERS/Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Cleve Foster in an undated photo.

Credit: Reuters/Texas Department of Criminal Justice

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(Reuters) - Texas is set to put to death Tuesday a man who has received three stays of execution and is requesting a fourth from the U.S. Supreme Court because of questions about the representation he received from defense lawyers.

Cleve Foster, 48, was convicted along with an accomplice of the 2002 murder and rape of Nyanuer "Mary" Pal, whose naked body was found in a ditch, according to a report by the Texas Attorney General's office.

The U.S. Supreme Court a year ago granted a temporary stay of execution just 2-1/2 hours before Foster was to be put to death by lethal injection. It was the third stay of execution from the high court for Foster, who also was granted a delays in January and April 2011.

Foster's lawyers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court for a fourth stay of execution, the high court said on Tuesday. The execution is scheduled for after 6 p.m. local time at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.

Foster's accomplice in the murder, Shelton Ward, died of brain cancer on death row in 2010. Foster maintained in his trial that Ward acted alone, and that contact between him and the victim was consensual.

The two men and Pal were regulars at Fat Albert's bar in Fort Worth when, the night before Valentine's Day in 2002, bartenders said Pal walked out with them, according to the report. Pal left in her car and the men followed closely behind in Foster's truck.

Eight hours later, Pal's body was found with a gunshot wound to the head and wadded-up duct tape nearby, according to the report.

Foster would be the 30th person executed in the United States this year and the ninth in Texas.

Texas has executed more than four times as many people as any other state since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

(Reporting By Corrie MacLaggan and Terry Baynes; Writing by Greg McCune)

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Comments (2)
SlickJax wrote:
It would be nice to know why the other 3 stays were lifted before “throwing gas on the fire” Mr. McCune.

Sep 25, 2012 4:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
wthealer1 wrote:
Im am no bleeding heart but the death sentense needs to put aside. Not only is it imoral, its cost prohititive. Wht do you have a 5 million dollar case, and add a mil., for every appeal. life without parole is a lot more cost effective, and just as safe ( from the standpoint of public protection ), and it makes us seem a whole lot more humane.

Sep 26, 2012 1:31am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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