Gov. Rick Perry accepted a recommendation from the state parole board and said Thursday he would spare condemned prisoner Kenneth Foster from execution and commute his sentence to life.
Foster had been scheduled to die Thursday evening.
"After carefully considering the facts of this case, along with the recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, I believe the right and just decision is to commute Foster's sentence from the death penalty to life imprisonment," Perry said in a statement.
"I am concerned about Texas law that allowed capital murder defendants to be tried simultaneously and it is an issue I think the legislature should examine."
A surprising move, but one that the state's legal eagles and newspapers had been clamoring for.