Last night, we blogged about Texas's plan to execute Cleve Foster today. This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Foster a last-minute stay of execution. Foster would have been the first person in the state to be executed using a recently announced and untested lethal injection protocol. Though the stay is unrelated to the change in protocol, it ensures that for now, Texas will not have the opportunity to test its new and experimental protocol on Foster, risking needless pain and suffering.
But with six more scheduled executions through August, Texas must use this extra time to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of the new protocol and subject it to public scrutiny. Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles should stay the remaining pending executions until the legislature enacts measures that provide the same comprehensive regulations for the taking of human life as those provided to animals.