The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered a delay of the execution of Troy Davis as it considers arguments from both sides over whether Davis deserves a stay.
ABC News reports that at about 7:05 Eastern Time Wednesday night, five minutes after the execution was scheduled, a cheer went up outside the Georgia prison when word spread of the delay.
However the delay is just temporary. Local TV station 11Alive reports that the Court can decide anytime tonight or over the next seven days to either allow the execution or issue a stay.
USA Today reports that the mother of the police officer Davis was convicted of killing said she received a telephone call from a state representative telling her of the delay.
"They said it was delayed but they told me not to worry about it, it would go on as scheduled," said Anneliese MacPhail. "It's supposed to go on tonight, it's just delayed."
Davis's supporters had hoped President Obama would step in, but just ten minutes before the scheduled execution, spokesman Jay Carney issued a statement that said "it is not appropriate for the President of the United States to weigh in on specific cases like this one, which is a state prosecution."
Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder, but several witnesses who named Davis as the gunman have since recanted their testimony. His supporters say this is a classic case of mistaken identity. Prosecutors, though, are convinced that the right man was convicted.