A federal appeals court has set aside the sentence of a long-time death-row inmate until another court reviews whether a juror in his 1979 trial was biased.
The ruling marks the fifth time this month the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned or delayed a California execution.
Stevie Lamar Fields argued a juror in his trial should have been disqualified because the juror´s wife was the victim of crimes similar to those Fields was charged with committing. The juror´s wife had been kidnapped, robbed, beaten and raped.
Fields was convicted of a Los Angeles crime spree that included a fatal shooting, and the kidnapping and sexual assault of three other women.
The case now goes to a federal court, which can decide to overturn the conviction, deny the appeal or retry the case.