U.S. Supreme Court Halts Execution After Texas Inmate's Last Meal

On January 11, Desert Storm veteran Cleve Foster of Texas received a stay of execution just moments before his lethal injection. Foster had already finished his last meal when the United States Supreme Court halted the execution. Foster was sentenced to death for a 2002 shooting, but has always maintained that his friend was responsible for the murder. The friend also received the death penalty for the crime but died of cancer before he was executed. In a recent appeal, Foster’s defense claimed his conviction should be overturned because his trial lawyers failed to hire a blood-spatter expert whose testimony could have resulted in a different verdict. Supporters of Foster say that the co-defendant had signed a confession in which he admitted to shooting and killing the victim. Foster’s current attorneys also claim that he received inadequate defense on appeal and hence has never had an adequate review of his innocence claim. The U.S. Supreme Court did not specify a reason for granting the stay. UPDATE: The Supreme Court declined to review Foster’s case.

(E. Lane, “Execution of Texas death row inmate stopped after last meal,” The Examiner, January 12, 2011). See Innocence and Representation.