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For 2nd Time, Convicted Triple Slayer Gets US Supreme Court Reprieve One Hour Before Execution

Posted Aug 23, 2012 11:32 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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For the second time in two years, a convicted Texas triple murderer has been given a last-minute reprieve by the U.S. Supreme Court on the day he was scheduled to be executed.

Both times, the stay of execution was granted within an hour of when John Balentine, 43, was to get a lethal injection, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.

He contends that mitigating evidence that could have resulted in a life sentence wasn't presented at sentencing due to ineffective assistance of counsel. In its one-paragraph Wednesday ruling, the nation's top court said it is granting the stay so that it can consider Balentine's petition for review.

In 2009, Balentine got a reprieve from the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals a day before he was to be executed.

He was convicted of shooting to death three sleeping teenagers in 1998 at his ex-girlfriend's home.

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