Parole board stays execution set for Thursday

The Georgia parole board has issued a stay for a condemned inmate who was scheduled to be executed Thursday.

Robert Earl Butts Jr. was scheduled to die Thursday evening at the state prison in Jackson. The State Board of Pardons and Paroles on Wednesday evening issued a stay of up to 90 days to further consider the case.

Board spokesman Steve Hayes said the board decided to issue a stay because of "the considerable amount of additional information" it had received in the case. He said the board will issue a decision during the stay or at the end of the 90 days. The parole board is the only authority in Georgia with the power to commute a death sentence.

Butts and 41-year-old Marion Wilson Jr. were convicted and sentenced to death in the March 1996 slaying of Donovan Corey Parks in central Georgia. The two men asked Parks for a ride outside a Walmart store and then ordered him out of the car and fatally shot him a short distance away.

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