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One execution delayed, another is carried out

A last-minute appeal to the US Supreme Court saved a Georgia convict from execution while a Louisiana prisoner was electrocuted Wednesday when his appeal was rejected.

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The two rulings from the court, issued only hours before both executions had been scheduled Wednesday morning, showed imposition of the death penalty remains unpredictable.

Robert Wayne Williams was executed in Louisiana after the court rejected his fourth appeal, while Georgia prisoner Alpha Otis O'Daniel Stephens won another chance to reverse his death sentence when the court voted 5 to 4 to halt his execution. It was the fifth time Stephens had appealed to the justices.