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Gregory Wilson’s execution postponed, possibly until 2011

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's death warrant for Gregory Wilson expired at midnight last evening.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's death warrant for Gregory Wilson expired at midnight last evening.

From the Lexington Herald-Leader’sKentucky execution is postponed, perhaps until next year“:

Wilson had been scheduled to die Thursday evening, but last week Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd halted the execution, citing concerns about the state’s lethal-injection process and the potential that Wilson is retarded, which would bar the death penalty for him.

Attorney General Jack Conway’s office asked the state Supreme Court to overturn Shepherd’s order, arguing that Wilson’s conviction has been upheld in several courts.

However, Wilson’s attorneys were not expected to respond to that motion Thursday, according to J. Michael Brown, secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.

That meant Shepherd’s injunction stayed in place. The order Gov. Steve Beshear signed for Wilson’s execution was valid only until midnight Central time Thursday.

It’s not clear when motions before the Supreme Court relating to Wilson’s execution will be resolved.

As long as the order barring Wilson’s execution remains in effect, Beshear can’t issue a warrant setting a new date, spokeswoman Kerri Richardson said in a statement.

That’s significant because the state has only one dose of a key drug used to put a condemned inmate to death, and it expires Oct. 1.

The manufacturer reportedly has told the state that more of the drug won’t be available until early 2011.

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