A three-judge panel of the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a stay of execution for convicted killer Timothy Johnston, scheduled to die a minute after midnight at the state prison in Bonne Terre. Johnston faces execution for the kicking and beating death of his wife in 1989. Johnston has claimed that lethal injection is unconstitutionally cruel. The three-judge panel has issued a stay of execution until September 8th. Attorney General Jay Nixon has asked the full 8th Circuit to hear the state’s appeal of the three-judge ruling and allow the execution to take place as scheduled.