Late stay of execution for inmate after DNA evidence casts doubt on guilt
Protesters rejoiced after a US state governor stopped the planned execution of an inmate who maintains his innocence.
A small group of protesters who travelled to the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City from Kansas City wrote the governor a thank-you note on the spot after learning on Tuesday that Eric Greitens was issuing a stay of execution for Marcellus Williams.
Williams was convicted of fatally stabbing former St Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle during a 1998 burglary at her suburban St Louis home.
Williams had been scheduled for execution at 6pm local time on Tuesday.
The governor's decision comes after Williams' lawyers cited DNA evidence found on the murder weapon that matched another unknown person, but not Williams.
But St Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said there was "zero possibility" the inmate is innocent.
Mr Greitens says he will appoint a five-member board of inquiry to make a recommendation concerning whether Williams should be executed.