Apparently he has NOT been "released." What I read was that he had been "freed." This is apparently so. But he has not actually been released yet. This explains the situation better. This is the pertinent bit that I mentioned recently:
Now ignoring all the biased, loaded language in this report, what it comes down to is this -- Rahman is to be freed based not upon a human rights violation, not upon the principle that every person has the right to choose his or her own religion free of state ceoercion, but based upon technical questions about the evidence and insinuations about his sanity. This is therefore NOT a victory for human rights or religious freedom -- it is a strategic retreat on the part of the Afghan government.
This is the key point. No one has changed his mind about the desirability of beheading converts to Christianity in general. Its just that there are some in the Afghani government who have changed their minds about the desirability of killing THIS convert to Christianity. The principle (death to infidels and the apostate!) is still firmly in place, as evidenced by the protests at the news that Rahman was to be released.
Thanks to Tex for clearing up my confusion.