Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
A temporary delay in imposition of the death penalty by order of the state's governor. Reasons for reprieves include the possibility of newly discovered evidence, awaiting the result of a last-minute appeal, or the governor's concern that there might have been some error in the record that should be examined. On occasion a reprieve has saved someone who was later found to be innocent. A reprieve is only a delay, not a pardon or reduction or commutation of the sentence. When the reprieve expires, the date for execution can be reset.