MIAMI (AP) - A federal appeals court lifted the stay of execution for a former escort service owner convicted in the slayings of two Florida women.
    
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on Thursday for Marshall Lee Gore. A new date for the execution has not yet been set.
    
Gore, 49, had been scheduled to die at the Florida State Prison in Starke Monday evening for the 1988 slaying of Robyn Novick, a 30-year-old exotic dancer. But the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals approved a motion filed by Gore's attorney less than two hours before he was to have received a lethal injection.
    
In his emergency motion, attorney Todd Scher argued Gore's execution would violate the Eighth Amendment, which forbids the state from carrying out a death sentence against a prisoner who is insane.
    
Gore's attorneys have argued before that he is mentally ill. One previous lawyer claimed Gore was "mentally deranged" and not responsible for his actions. But several judges concluded he was using a claim of mental illness to manipulate the judicial process.
    
When asked by a judge in the Novick case if he felt competent to proceed he replied, "I'm absolutely competent. I'm absolutely lucid." He had frequent verbal outbursts during the trial, laughed out loud and even howled.
    
A panel of doctors appointed by Gov. Rick Scott concluded in May that Gore was mentally competent to be executed.
    
In addition to Novick, Gore also was convicted and sentenced to death in the 1988 slaying of Susan Roark. Novick's body was found in a rural part of Miami-Dade County and Roark's body a few months later in Columbia County in northern Florida.
    
Gore initially denied knowing any of the women, but later testified they worked for him at an escort service.
    
Florida had two executions earlier this month: William Van Poyck was put to death on June 12 for the 1987 murder of a prison guard during a botched attempt to free another inmate. On May 29, the state executed Elmer Carroll for the 1990 rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl.

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