Thursday, May 15, 2003


The highlights:

In Florida, Gov. Jeb Bush issued a last-minute stay to determine whether a convicted killer is competent to be executed.

Newton Carlton Slawson, 48, who gunned down a Tampa family in 1989, had been scheduled to die by injection Thursday evening. If a psychiatric exam determines he is competent, he will be executed as early as Friday.

Slawson had dropped his appeals and fired his attorneys, who responded by telling the governor's office that he is insane. That triggered a state law that requires a stay and orders a psychiatric examination.