Justice Clarence Thomas granted Ronald Smith Jr.'s request for halting the execution. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

The Supreme Court issued a temporary stay Thursday of the execution of an Alabama man convicted in the 1994 death of a convenience store clerk. Hours later, the court ruled again that the state could move forward with the execution Thursday night.

Ronald Bert Smith Jr.’s execution was rescheduled from 6 p.m. CST to 9:45 p.m. Thursday after the court granted two temporary stays.

Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas had honored Smith’s request that the highest court halt the execution less than an hour before it was scheduled to take place earlier Thursday evening.

During Smith’s trial, the jury had recommended a life sentence, but the judge ordered a death sentence because the murder was an “execution-style slaying,” according to the judge. Thomas delivered the Supreme Court’s eleventh-hour decision because Alabama falls under his jurisdiction on the court.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had denied Smith’s request on Thursday to stop the execution. Smith complained about the sedatives he was supposed to receive and was offered a large dose of midazolam instead. The two parties could not agree on a combination, possibly prompting the Supreme Court to intervene.

The 45-year-old prisoner was convicted for shooting and killing Casey Wilson while robbing a store.

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