Wed., December 16, 2009 4:08pm (EST)

Execution Delayed
By Rickey Bevington
Updated: 5 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Carlton Gary was hours before his scheduled death when the Ga. Supreme Court issued him a stay of execution.
Carlton Gary was hours before his scheduled death when the Ga. Supreme Court issued him a stay of execution.
The so-called “Columbus Stocking Strangler” has won a last-minute effort to delay his execution.

On Wednesday, hours before his scheduled execution, the Georgia Supreme Court granted Carlton Gary a stay of execution.

By a 5-to-2 vote, the court ordered a hearing in Muscogee County about Gary’s request for DNA testing.

Gary, who was convicted and sentenced to death in 1986 for the rapes and strangulation murders of three elderly women in Columbus, was due to be executed Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. by lethal injection.

His attorneys have claimed that DNA testing of hair, semen and fingernail scrapings found on his alleged victims was not available at the time of his conviction.

Since 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, six people have been granted clemency from death row in Georgia. There have been 46 executions.