The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ordered an 11th-hour stay to Pennsylvania's first execution in 13 years, reported Reuters.
Hubert Michael Jr., 56, was sentenced to death after pleading guilty to the 1993 murder of Trista Eng, 16. He was scheduled to be executed at 7 pm this evening. The state pardons board rejected a bid for clemency on Wednesday.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a 14-day stay in the execution. The Pennsylvania attorney general's office then filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate the order.
The warrant for Michael's execution runs out at midnight, meaning it will not go ahead unless the high court rules by then, reported Reuters.
Attorneys for Michael say he has Asperger's syndrome, a disorder that can cause sufferers to have trouble with social situations, be uncomfortable with changes in routine or have heightened sensitivities to certain situations.
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