Supreme Court halts Texas execution
The Supreme Court issued a stay of execution hours before Cleve Foster was slated to die by lethal injection.
April 5th, 2011
02:42 PM ET

Supreme Court halts Texas execution

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday morning halting the execution of Texas death row inmate Cleve Foster.

The  justices issued an order granting a stay of execution for Cleve Foster about eight hours before his scheduled lethal injection.

The Gulf War veteran was convicted along with another man of the 2002 murder of  Nyanuer  "Mary" Pal, a Sudanese immigrant he met at a Fort Worth  bar.

Read CNN's full coverage of the Cleve Foster stay of execution
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Filed under: Courts • Death Penalty • Justice • Texas
soundoff (454 Responses)
  1. Gibby50

    First I am not a Liberal, with that said we need to weigh the possiblity of the person not being guilty against the punishment of life in prison. If our legal system was perfect I would say Fry him. It would be better to end their misery than to linger in prison. But there is to many cases where it has been found to be imperfect. Hence we need to provide the ability for stays of execution. Case in point a guy after 30 years is proven inocent by DNA. Hmmm that guy if executed – would have been done so injustly. We need to be 300% sure that they are guilty before we fry them.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • debbie

      This guy is not claiming innocence. At all. Because he's not. It's clear. He needs to die.

      April 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Not injustly. A person who is years later found to be not guilty of the crime was affored a lawful trial and found guilty. You mention that there are too many cases where our system was found to be imperfect, how many cases is that?

      April 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny Johnnyson

      I love listening to Christians talk about frying people. The irony is too much. I'm sure Jesus is looking down approvingly from heaven, stigmata and all.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • pedro

      @Debbie – If he's not claiming innocence, then why is the high court willing to hear his appeal which claims he's innocent? Ooh, maybe he'll choose to be hanged publicly so you can go and slake your bloodlust in person! Wouldn't that be just swell? You could make a day of it, take the kids.

      The problem with the death penalty is the same as the problem with the rest of America – smart, responsible people aren't running the red states. The "express lanes" in Texas and Florida (particularly Texas) have proven to have killed innocent people, but they won't address their own issues – because the stupider you are, the more you hate being shown up as having done something extremely stupid. So you just keep being stupid.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Mike the number of cases is more than one so it is too many. I think we give them a choice, fry or get bum rushed everynight for the rest of there lives living in the clink!

      April 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Justin Case

    If capital punishment isn't a deterrent to crime... has anyone ever done a study on whether non-capital punishment is a deterrent to crime? I'm thinking it really isn't.

    Maybe we'd be better of just giving a murderer a long lecture about morality, then make them promise not to do it again before we let them go.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • lmh5109

      How do you figure that giving a murderer a morality talk and making them "promise" not to kill again is going to be effective? Their downfall is that they have no sense of morality – no sense of right or wrong. A talk doesn't cut it with people who have committed such serious crimes.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin Case

      Actually, that's my point. Many people use the argument that capital punishment isn't a deterrent, so we shouldn't us it....
      My point is, using that logic we need to see if non-capital punishment is a deterrent. If it isn't... my sarcastic suggestion was to give them a brutal lecture.... then let them go.

      April 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • tbundy

      to semi-quote Ann Richards(a liberal democrat btw) when asked if she believed the death penalty was a deterrent at a press conference about an execution she said....." he wont be killing anyone else"!!!

      April 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kate

    Texas imprisons more people than any entire country in the world, including China and Iran. Texas executes more people than any entire country in the world, including China and Iran. Texas has convicted more innocent people to death than any entire country in the world, including China and Iran.

    So, why is Texas such a violent place? Why are there so many more criminals in Texas than every country on planet earth?

    April 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trav

      That is so unbelieveably inaccurate it boggles the mind. I mean you are seriously just making stuff up. Texas does not have more people in prison or execute more people than China. For starters you're talking about a state of 20+ million people versus a 1.6 billion population country. Secondly, China executes above 1,000 people a year. Texas has executed around 460 in it's entire history.

      April 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • I'm Right

      Quit pulling statistics out of the air. If you can't support your opinion with facts – don't try and make them up. it's only so much hot air without the facts to back up what you say!!!!!!!!!!!

      April 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Because we have half of Mexico living here now and I would venture to guess most of them are not here legally.

      April 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trav

      # of executions in 2009:
      China – at least 1700 (estimates up to 6000)
      Iran – at least 388
      Iraq – at least 120
      Saudi Arabia – 69
      U.S. – 52

      But don't let facts get in the way.

      April 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • dirtyangus

      Wow, talk about liberal BS.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • baman

      Kate, Why would you want to make such an idiot of yourself?

      April 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      85% of al statistics are just made up on the spot.

      98% of the world knows that.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracy in Maine

      I'm not going to argue about the Death Penalty, as everyone has their own views on it. But in response to Kate's posting : "Texas imprisons more people than any entire country in the world, including China and Iran. Texas executes more people than any entire country in the world, including China and Iran. Texas has convicted more innocent people to death than any entire country in the world, including China and Iran."

      As of 2010, Texas did have the largest prison population in the US, followed closely by California. Until 2008 California was in the #1 position. As of 2009, the United States was #5 in the world for the most executions carried out. China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia executed more prisoners than the United States, so Texas could not have carried out more executions than China and Iran. Also, as of 2010, California and Florida had more death row inmates than Texas.

      I'm pretty sure that some could argue the fact that Texas isn't the only state in the Union that has convicted innocent people to death.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Why do we put so many to death? the answer is easy The do the CRIME. Unfortunatly the deaths are not public as they were in the past, so that all could watch and learn what will happen if you do wrong in Texas I disagree with lethal injection the rope works fine and is a lot cheaper

      April 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • HA

      Kate your an idiot!

      April 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caddie

      Because I am sure your facts from Iran and China, which I doubt you have, are ohhhh so accurate because those countries are so forthcoming with accurate statistics as well as those citizens and journalists have access to freedom of speech... and Texas is one of the largest states in the country which borders on a country who is desperate to cross a border- so that equals more crime which would equal more people convicted people... so think about that before you claim to know soooooo much!

      April 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • sagebrush

      First, get the correct statistics, then you can twist them any way you want. China executes many more people than Texas.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff in TX

      Because we are bigger than any state in the country. Genius. The criminals get the same appeals here as they do anywhere else! Finding them guilty is the burden of the prosecution. Finding them innocent is the burden of their attorney. If several appeals go by, and they can't persuade a different outcome......sorry.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michael Hartnett

    WHY? They found him guilty didn`t they?

    April 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      just because he was found guilty doesn't mean he is, sometimes I think prosecutors want to find someone guilty, just to make themselves look good.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Walker

    This is a stunning piece of journalism.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. I'm Right

    The death penalty is a DETERRENT. The executed person will never again commit a crime. As far as costs to incarcerate a criminal – a minimum of $40,000.00 a year. Give them one appeal with all the free lawyers they can afford then off to the chair, rope or injectable solution of their choice! Quit coddeling the criminals!!

    April 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      WRong again Mighty Midget! it costs more in appeals and court costs than it does to house a prisoner until death.

      April 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sananda

      I can see that the death penalty is a deterrent and it's working soooo well which is why our prison system is overwhelmed and over crowded. It's working so well that people are just DYING to get in there!
      That has got to be the most ignorant statement I've heard in a long time. Killing someone, anyone, because of something that they did is nothing more than a flashback to the religious right and their "Eye for an eye" statement. It accomplishes nothing since most killings occur spontaneously without people stopping to think about what they are doing. This is what would need to happen to make a deterrent work.
      The death penalty should be removed from the books and all death penalty cases moved to life if necessary.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Acro-phobia

      So you'd be against the death penalty even in cases like Ted Bundy? He escaped twice and kept killing. In my opinion the only that was going to stop him was the death penalty.

      I've never seen the death penalty as a deterrent, but rather as the last option a reasonable country has to stop people like Ted Bundy.

      April 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michael Hartnett

    WHY? did not they find him guilty? What a waste of time and money for a trial!

    April 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. debbie

    Thanks CNN. I finished the job for you on posting the full story but apparently your terms don't allow for the truth to be put out there....

    April 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • debbie

      For the record – this guy is not claiming to be innocent so everyone can now get off that wagon. He doesn't want the state to use a new drug to kill him. He wants a choice of drugs – you know, like his victim probably was given a choice as to how she should die. He is not even remoting possibly an innocent person.

      April 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      he has claimed his innocence in the past, his buddy that was arrested with him even said Foster wasn't involved in the killing, but when you have a few hrs left to live you will probably grasp at anything to halt the execution.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wheelsrob

    I wonder how all you death penalty advocates would feel about the death penalty if you were a falsely convicted person on death row.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JHK

      I wonder how would you feel if the victim were a close relative of yours.

      April 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texan

      I agree we need to be 100% sure of guilt, but then again, if you are even in a situation to be accused much less tried and convicted of a crime – something tells me you got away with something in your past to justify it. Do unto others, kill and be killed. Period.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • wheelsrob

      @JHK... I'd feel vengeful. Towards the guilty party. Not towards an innocent man.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |

    Natalie & Patty...I guess you're ok with someone murdering one of your loved ones and getting to live on...grow up..

    April 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Al

    You can't get rid of the death penalty because some criminals deserve it, no ifs, ands, or buts. What about those 2 pieces of sh** from Connecticut who set the house on fire and burned that family alive. Why should garbage like that be allowed to breathe the same oxygen as the rest of us. What about the 9/11 terrorists they have in Gitmo and Osama if he is ever captured? Why shouldn't they be put in a helicopter up to the height of the 110th floor of the World Trade Center and pushed out?

    I agree that if there is a question as to guilt or innocence, let's resolve that first before we fry the P.O.S. who murdered an innocent victim. But once that is resolved, the criminal is done, plain and simple.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kf

    Any Christian for the Death Penalty is a hypocrite.

    To Wit: Jesus said "You have heard 'Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth' but I tell you this: Love your brother as yourself"

    He wanted us to "Turn the other cheek"

    He also said "Let he who is free of sin, cast the first stone" (To, yes, stop an execution)

    He also was an innocent victim of the Death Penalty.

    WWJD? Certainly he wouldn't push the button as so many people are adamant that they would.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sean

      let's not forget that public executions were held in St. Peter's square for a very long time.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • RealTime

      Liberals love abortion and hate capital punishment. Why do liberals want to protect murderers and kill babies? Must be that liberal mental illness.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Apu Whopooped

      I would push the button for Jesus.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      According to the BIble, Jesus was killed because he refused to deny he was the son of God.

      Historians have said it's more likely he was just a pain in Rome's a$$.

      Either way, he wasn't innocent of the charge.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kf

      Oh yeah. We liberals LOVE abortion. We think it should be mandatory!

      Cmon. We don't want abortions. But we don't believe in making personal medical decisions for other people. As I have no uterus, I'm not going to tell a woman what to do with hers. In a perfect world there are no abortions OR executions. I'm for minimizing them both.

      We don't want to "protect" murderers. That's an asinine statement. We want to protect innocent people who may have been convicted for a crime they didn't commit.

      Do you realize in this particular case, someone ELSE has confessed to the crimes.

      Here in Dallas, Our DA has led a crusade to clean up the broken system already in place. In the past decade 41 people have been exonerated by DNA evidence in Texas. 21 in Dallas alone, more than any other county.

      The system is fallible and broken, and you can't kill people based off a broken system

      April 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calm Dog

      Speaking in stereotypes, Liberals are pro-choice and anti-death penalty, Conservatives are anti-abortion and pro-death penalty. Seems like everyone wants somebody else dead. It's apparently just a question of who and when.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • lobbyistgrl

      And where exactly was God or Jesus when this woman was being killed?? Hmmm...I'll wait.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. moderate Texan woman

    @ Kansas City: "It's funny that conservatives are so adamantly pro-life, and pro-death penalty at the same time. The human body, in the spirit of Christianity, is a temple, the image of God."?? So, liberals who want to save the murderers but kill innocent unborn children are right? You're an idiot.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      In the beginning God created man.After seeing he could not take care of himself he created woman. There were two beings with two different DNA's.Where did the other billions of DNA's come from?

      April 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calm Dog

      @jorge washinsen If you don't believe in God, then the Adam and Eve story is just a fable. If you do believe in God, you know He can do whatever the hell he wants. No problem either way.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DRIVER


    April 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Satan Himself

      I love Texass! A little lube goes a long way these days. They love me there. We are going to get married and have hot s-ex.

      April 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jorge washinsen

    There are no more criminals in Texas than any where else.They just do not see feeding them for more than 14 years.If you had a love one killed by the perps you would probably opt for about 2 years feeding them.

    April 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
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