Last Minute Reprieves

Living in Texas, I get the joy of living in the Capital Punishment Capital of the US. We put a lot of people to death here. Recently, the third execution was halted with reprieve, and there is an appeal going on in the convicts trial. My question is, why is it reprieves always come JUST BEFORE EXECUTION? The guy’s been on death row for a while, now, but they don’t halt it until the day of the execution (I don’t know how much time was left before the actual execution)? It’s the same with the others. Everything’s trucking along, same as usual, and then the day of the execution, the phone rings and there’s a big “No, wait, we’re going to look at this again.”

So, why wait so long to halt the execution process?

Because until the day of the execution, no one knows whether the issue will be decided before then; reprieves aren’t cancellations, they’re “we’ll wait until this is settled” notices.