Alabama death penalty case far from over

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A Thursday execution was halted for a man set to die for the 1982 murder-for-hire of a Muscle Shoals businessman, but his legal battle is far from over.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday denied Alabama's request to reconsider the stay of execution for Thomas Douglas Arthur, who has maintained his innocence for more than 29 years on death row.

The stay was granted after a three-judge panel overturned a judge's ruling to stop Arthur's appeal, which contends Alabama's lethal injection procedure is cruel and unusual.

The court has yet to rule on a motion to have the full 11th Circuit re-examine the decision to allow the appeal.

If the court declines, Arthur will be allowed to appeal his death sentence.

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