The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued a temporary stay of execution for Ivan Teleguz, a Ukrainian national who was convicted of ordering the 2001 murder of his girlfriend, Stephanie Sipe. He was scheduled to be put to death on April 13.
Following his conviction, two witnesses recanted their testimony against him, with one of them saying he fabricated most of his testimony to avoid the death penalty himself. During the trial, the jury was told that Teleguz was involved in another murder that did not in fact occur as alleged.
“A man’s life hangs in the balance based on the faulty testimony of witnesses, one of whom later claimed to have lied to avoid the death penalty” said James Clark, senior death penalty campaigner for Amnesty International USA. “This is clearly a broken system that must be ended entirely. Ivan Teleguz’s sentence must be commuted permanently.”