Cleve Foster, 48, a former Army recruiter, failed to win a fourth reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court and was executed yesterday in Texas for participating in the shooting death of a woman he and a buddy met 10 years ago at a bar, the Associated Press reports. Three times last year the justices stopped his execution, once when he was moments from being led to the death chamber. His attorneys argued he was innocent of the killing Nyaneur Pal, a 30-year-old immigrant from Sudan, in 2002. They said he had deficient legal help at his trial and in early stages of his appeals.
Three of the nine justices – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor – would have stopped the execution. “It’s offensive to us the frivolous appeals that were thrown up at the Supreme Court last minute,” said Terry Urnosky, whose 22-year-old daughter’s death was blamed on Foster and a partner. “One stay after another, just delaying the closure our families sought.” Maurie Levin, a University of Texas law professor representing Foster, argued the Supreme Court needed to block it again in light of its ruling earlier this year in an Arizona case that said an inmate who received poor legal assistance should have his case reviewed.