The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday delayed, by at least two days, the execution of convicted Miami mass murderer John Errol Ferguson.
Ferguson, convicted of eight Miami-Dade County murders in the late 1970s, was originally scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Oct. 16 at 6 p.m.
But the high court Thursday gave defense lawyers two extra days to file appeals. For now, Ferguson can be executed any time after 4 p.m. Oct. 18.
Fergusons attorneys are appealing first to a Bradford County trial court chiefly on the grounds that he is severely mentally ill and his execution would be cruel and unusual punishment.
After two days of hearings this week, Bradford Circuit Judge David Glant is slated to rule on the appeal on Friday at 4 p.m.
Similar appeals have been rejected consistently over the decades.
The Miami man was convicted of the July 1977 murders of six Carol City residents during a home-invasion robbery. At the time, it was the worst mass murder in Miami-Dade history.
Ferguson, now 64, also was convicted separately of murdering two teenagers, Belinda Worley, a 17-year-old Hialeah High School senior, and Brian Glenfeldt, 17, in January 1978.
The two teens had gone out for ice cream, and Ferguson pretended to be a police officer when he stopped them. He shot Glenfeldt to death and raped and murdered Worley, and stole her class ring.