By Corrie MacLaggan
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A man convicted of fatally stabbing a fellow inmate in a state prison in 1999 is scheduled to be executed in Texas on Thursday evening by lethal injection.
Lee Taylor was to be the second man put to death in Texas this week. But on Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the execution of John Balentine, who fatally shot three teenagers in Amarillo in 1998. Balentine had raised an issue about whether he has a right to be represented by a lawyer in a post-conviction state hearing challenging the effectiveness of his lawyers at trial.
Taylor, 32, used an ice-pick-like weapon made in prison to stab fellow inmate Donta Greene multiple times in what the Texas Department of Criminal Justice describes as a fight stemming from racial tension. Taylor, who is white, was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, according to the department. Greene was black.
At the time of the stabbing at the northeast Texas prison, Taylor was serving a life sentence for an aggravated robbery in which an elderly man died, according to the state attorney general's office.
Taylor would be the fifth inmate executed in Texas this year. So far in 2011, 20 people have been put to death in the United States. Alabama on Thursday is scheduled to execute a man for brutally murdering a 70-year-old woman in 1995.
Texas has executed more than four times as many people as any other state since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.