TEXAS — A high court in Texas halted the execution of 48-year-old Edward Lee Busby Jr one week before he was set to die.
Busby’s legal team had filed a criminal appeal arguing Busby’s execution would be unconstitutional because he is intellectually disabled, according to a report obtained by the Marshall Project.
In 2004, he was convicted of killing a 77-year-old retired professor, Laura Crane, by stuffing her in a trunk and wrapping her in duct tape. The duct tape caused Crane’s nose to deviate from its original position, eventually leading to her suffocation and death. Busby and a female accomplice had abducted the woman from a Fort Worth store parking lot. Crane’s body was found in Oklahoma.
Busby’s intellectual disability will be reviewed by a lower court. His most recent appeal is his only appeal to be granted.
Texas, where Busby is set to be executed, is one of the most prolific execution states in the country, leading at #1 in executions since 1976. The state executed three people in 2020 and 9 people in 2019, Busby would’ve been the first to be executed in 2021. The governor is not allowed by Texas law to enact a moratorium on executions, as has occurred in states such as California and Pennsylvania.
Busby’s execution was originally rescheduled to February 10 from May 6 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.