Culture&Arts

Arkansas suffers more setbacks to execution plan

Arkansas suffers more setbacks to execution plan

The highest courts in Arkansas and the USA could put the executions back on track, but for now Arkansas faces an uphill battle to put any inmate to death before the end of April, when one of its lethal injection drugs expires.

A spokesman for state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a Republican, said she would appeal that ruling.

The legal issue that halted Monday's executions for Ward and Davis hinged on a separate, broader case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning a defendant's access to independent experts, and attorneys say the justices' ruling could potentially affect the inmates' criminal convictions.

Occasionally, one or more justices will dissent from the decision to let the execution take place.

Three of those executions were canceled this week because of court decisions.

Arkansas execution drugs intended for surgery, heart issues
The legal issue that halted Monday's executions for Ward and Davis hinged on a separate, broader case pending before the U.S. The ruling clears one of the main legal hurdles the state faces in its effort to carry out two executions Thursday night.

"It is understandable that the inmates are taking every step possible to avoid the sentence of the jury; however, it is the court's responsibility to administer justice and bring conclusion to litigation", Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday in an emailed statement.

A group of Arkansas inmates is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block upcoming executions in the state, citing concerns with one of the lethal injection drugs. An appeal of Johnson's stay of execution was undecided, Deere said.

Now it's unclear whether any executions will proceed. The legal setbacks at one point prompted the state's previous attorney general, Dustin McDaniel, to declare Arkansas' death penalty system "broken".

Gray said that drug, vecuronium bromide, "was essentially obtained illegally by the state", NPR member station KUAR's Jacob Kauffman told Morning Edition. "Harm that could not be addressed by (monetary) damages", Gray said in a ruling from the bench, siding with the medical supply company McKesson Corp, which sued to stop its drug, vecuronium bromide, being used to kill condemned inmates.

The ruling clears one of the main legal hurdles the state faces in its effort to carry out two executions Thursday night.

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David Ospina, Danny Welbeck, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez are all missing as they continue to nurse injury problems. The latest injury comes at a crucial phase of Wilshere's career, with only a year left on his contract with Arsenal .

In court papers filed Thursday, they say any new judges assigned to their cases in a state court at Little Rock should have time to become familiar with their pleadings. One of those cases spared Don Davis, who again received a stay Monday night.

Lawyers for Lee, who had spent more than 20 years on death row, had filed numerous motions in various courts ahead of the lethal injection that had put the process on hold.

The other two justices who favored stopping the executions were Robin Wynne, who was touted as tough on child predators when he was elected in 2014, and Josephine Linker Hart, who ran as a "no-nonsense judge" in 2012.

"They will continue pending the outcome of appeals at both the state and federal levels", Graves said in an email.

A 6th Judicial Court judge has ruled in favor of drug distributor, McKesson Medical-Surgical Incorporated's claim that the state misled the company when the Arkansas Department of Correction purchased 10 vials of vecuronium bromide. Justice Stephen Breyer said in a dissent that he was troubled by Arkansas' push to execute the inmates before its supply of midazolam expires. But the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that order Monday, and the inmates appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Officer killed, another wounded in Paris attack; shooter 'neutralized'
The incident came as French voters prepared go to the polls in the most tightly-contested presidential election in living memory. Police have issued an arrest warrant for a second suspect who arrived from Belgium by train, according to Reuters.

That leaves five men set for execution in an eight-day period starting Thursday.


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