[A] lawyer for Williams urged the court to issue a stay of execution on the grounds that Williams should have been allowed to argue at his 1981 trial that someone else killed one of his four alleged victims. The defense also noted state lawmakers are expected to consider a moratorium on the death penalty next month.
The justices didn't immediately rule. They earlier denied defense attorney Verna Wafald's request to reopen the case because of allegations that shoddy forensics linked a weapon used in three of the 1979 murders to a shotgun registered to Williams.
Williams has also appealed to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for clemency, and the governor said last week that he was agonizing over the case.