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Wednesday, February 4, 1998 Published at 00:41 GMT



World

New appeals delay Tucker's execution
image: [ Demonstrators against the death penalty ]
Demonstrators against the death penalty

Two last-minute appeals in the US Supreme Court have delayed the execution of Karla Faye Tucker in Texas.

But the court rejected her lawyer's final attempts, as did the Texan Governor, George Bush.

"May God bless Karla Faye Tucker and may God bless her victims and their families," he said after the Supreme Court verdict.

When the crowds outside the prison heard the ruling they cheered. The 300 people watched videos of Tucker's life as they waited for her death to be confirmed.

Tucker, 38, was supposed to receive a lethal injection at midnight GMT (6pm local time) after an earlier appeal to the court failed.

But the two new applications for clemency by her lawyers delayed the process in the southern state.

Karen Hughes, spokeswoman for Texas Governor George Bush, said the fresh appeals were filed in lower courts and had been appealed to the Supreme Court.

Tucker cried as she said goodbye to her family as she continued to prepare for her death, prison officials said.

She was convicted for two pickaxe murders in 1983 but later converted to Christianity.

When her execution goes ahead it will be the first state-sponsored killing of a woman in Texas since the American Civil War.






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