US state commutes sentence hours before planned execution
May 23, 2008, 6:03 GMT
Washington - The US state of Georgia commuted the sentence of a convicted murderer less than two and a half hours before he was scheduled to be put to death by legal injection, US news reports said Friday.
Samuel David Crowe's death sentence was commuted late Thursday to life in prison by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, his attorney was quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying.
Crowe, 47, had already eaten what was to have been his last meal - a steak dinner from a nearby restaurant - and was waiting for the execution team to arrive when a call came from his lawyer telling him of the parole board's decision.
Crowe was convicted in 1988 of murdering the manager of a lumber company where he used to work. Crowe confessed to the killing.
The parole board gave no reason for its decision to spare Crowe's life. The Georgia Supreme Court had already rejected his final appeal.