ATLANTA - A U.S. court granted a stay of execution on Friday to a convicted murder due to die by lethal injection next week in a case the Pope and Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu have described as troubling.
The federal appeals court in Atlanta granted a stay of around 25 days for Troy Davis so lawyers could file a brief arguing the execution was unconstitutional because he is innocent, said Jason Ewart, a lawyer for Davis.
Davis had been due to put to death on Monday.
He was convicted of killing police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia, in 1989. Seven of the nine witnesses on whose testimony he was found guilty have since recanted their testimony.
Anti-death penalty campaigners have rallied around the Davis case. They say executing a man when there is doubt over his guilt exposes the flaws in the system.
U.S. courts have rendered decisions that backed Davis' conviction and said the witnesses' recantation of evidence does not meet the required judicial threshold for a new trial.
Writing by Matthew Bigg; editing by Tom Brown and Mohammad Zargham