Ronald Chambers has been on death row in Texas since 1976 for a murder the previous year, says the Los Angeles Times. Last week, three days before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection, he won a temporary reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court, which is considering another case that could affect his. Chambers has been on death row three times longer than the U.S. average of about a decade between sentencing and execution. In Texas, 15 of the 391 inmates on death row have awaited execution for more than 25 years; in California, 32 of the 655 condemned have been there more than 25 years. The longest-serving death row inmate is Gary Alvord, a Florida killer sentenced to death in 1974.
At 52, Chambers is a grandfather who gets occasional visits from his grown daughter. Not a week goes by that Deia Sutton Roberts, the surviving victim, doesn’t think about the attack in which her friend was killed. “Our justice system moves slowly, but at least it’s moving. It’s really hard on everyone, but I’m definitely not giving up,” she said.