Posted Jun 03, 2011 08:36 pm CDT
The U.S. Supreme Court has lifted a stay of execution for a Texas death row inmate who has twice come close to being executed in the past five months.
Cleve Foster, a 47-year-old former Army recruiter, was sentenced to death in 2004 for the 2002 murder of a 28-year-old woman he met in a bar.
The Supreme Court had stayed the execution while it considered whether Foster, a Persian Gulf veteran, had received adequate counsel during his trial and appeal, according to a New York Times report. Foster’s lawyers had also challenged the legality of his execution based on the state’s use of pentobarbital, which is also used to euthanize animals, in its lethal injections.
The court’s ruling frees the state to set a new execution date for Foster.
Maurie Levin, one of Foster’s lawyers, said she is not about to throw in the towel.
“I believe his conviction and his death sentence were a travesty and unjust, based on absurdly thin evidence,” she said. “We will find a way to litigate that.”
Foster and his roommate, Sheldon Ward, were both convicted of murdering Nyanuer Pal, who was found naked in a creek bed, shot once in the head.
Ward, who had also been sentenced to death, died last year of a brain tumor in prison.
Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Steve Conder told the UPI on Wednesday he was pleased with the court’s decision. “I anticipate that the trial court will set a new execution date in the near future,” he said.