Stay of execution for convicted mass killer in Florida


A US federal judge has granted a stay of execution for a convicted mass killer in Florida who is mentally ill and was scheduled to be executed on Tuesday.

US District Judge Daniel T. K. Hurley granted a motion for a stay for John Errol Ferguson, who was to be executed on Tuesday after 34 years on Florida's death row.

A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Lawyers for Ferguson contend that the Florida Supreme Court erred in determining that Ferguson was mentally competent and could be executed.

Ferguson's lawyers maintain he is insane.

The 64-year-old Ferguson was convicted of killing eight people including six who died execution-style in 1977 in Carol City, which at the time was the worst mass slaying in Miami-Dade County history.

He also was convicted of killing a teenage couple from Hialeah in 1978.