Crime The 7 inmates scheduled to die in Arkansas this month

23:22  10 april  2017
23:22  10 april  2017 Source:   Associated Press

Arkansas parole board suggests mercy for 1 of 8 due to die

  Arkansas parole board suggests mercy for 1 of 8 due to die <p>LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas' parole board on Wednesday recommended that Gov. Asa Hutchinson extend mercy to one of eight inmates scheduled to die in an unprecedented series of double-executions this month.</p>Hutchinson is not bound by the board's finding that Jason McGehee's clemency request had merit. The Republican governor, who can intervene at any time before the execution begins, has not said when he will make a decision.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge says Arkansas may not execute an inmate who has won a clemency recommendation from the state Parole Board until the panel allows for a 30-day comment period. The decision effectively delays his execution until after a lethal injection drug expires.

Judge tosses civil case on alleged Hastert misuse of funds. 2 convicted in Arkansas food program fraud case. The 7 inmates scheduled to die in Arkansas (AP) - The Latest on Arkansas ' plan to execute eight inmates in a two-week span later this month (all times local): 10 a.m. Six of the eight

FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Bruce Earl Ward, left, and Don William Davis. Both men are scheduled for execution April 17, 2017. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Bruce Earl Ward, left, and Don William Davis. Both men are scheduled for execution April 17, 2017. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas is preparing to execute seven death row inmates this month because it wants to carry out the sentences before its supply of an execution drug expires. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson originally scheduled four double executions for the last two weeks of April. However, a judge last week put one inmate's execution on hold after the state Parole Board recommended he receive clemency. The judge said the inmate was entitled to a 30-day comment period, which won't end until after Arkansas' supply of the sedative midazolam expires at the end of the month.

Judge blocks execution of 1 of 8 Arkansas inmates

  Judge blocks execution of 1 of 8 Arkansas inmates LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A judge on Thursday blocked the execution of one of the eight inmates Arkansas was planning to put to death this month, but said at least five of them could go forward even though he found that the state broke some rules and policies.U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. ruled for Jason McGehee, 40, a day after the Arkansas Parole Board recommended Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson grant McGehee clemency. Marshall said the state must allow for a 30-day comment period that will last until after a key execution drug expires on April 30.

The 7 inmates scheduled to die in Arkansas this month . Kelly P. Kissel, Associated Press. FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Bruce Earl Ward, left, and Don William Davis.

The 7 inmates scheduled to die in Arkansas this month . By KELLY P. KISSEL. Apr. FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Bruce Earl Ward, left, and Don William Davis.

A look at the seven men who are scheduled to die and their cases:

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BRUCE EARL WARD

Ward, 60, has been on death row since 1990 for the death of a clerk found strangled in the men's room of the Little Rock convenience store where she worked.

Rebecca Lynn Doss was 18. A police officer noticed no one was in the store and pulled up to find Ward walking out of the men's room. Surveillance video later revealed that Ward asked Doss for help to open the men's room door.

Ward's initial death sentence was overturned because a judge let jurors consider documents related to Ward's 1977 murder conviction in Pennsylvania. A second death sentence was overturned because a court transcript was filled with errors. A third jury imposed a death sentence in 1997.

Lawyers Desperate to Stall Arkansas' Spate of Executions

  Lawyers Desperate to Stall Arkansas' Spate of Executions Lawyers for the seven death row inmates scheduled to be put to death in an 11-day span starting next week are racing trying to halt the executions.Lawyers for seven death row inmates scheduled to be put to death starting next week are desperately trying to halt the executions, arguing in federal court that the proceedings are unconstitutional and would amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Bruce Earl Ward, left, and Don William Davis. Stacey Johnson, 47, is scheduled to die for the 1993 death of Carol Heath, who was beaten and strangled and had her throat slit.

Arkansas Executions: Decide Blocks 1, Will not Cease 7 Others Set for 10-Day Span. (NRT24 6 April 2017 7 :59 pm) A federal choose on Thursday blocked the execution of one in every of eight inmates that Arkansas scheduled for dying in a 10-day interval

Ward is scheduled for execution April 17. Ward did not file a clemency petition this year and on Thursday was dropped from the federal lawsuit challenging clemency procedures.

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DON WILLIAM DAVIS

Davis, 54, was convicted of killing Jane Daniel after breaking into her home in 1990 and shooting her with a .44-caliber revolver he found there.

He came within six hours of execution in 2010, but the Arkansas Supreme Court halted it to address whether legislators improperly left key details to the prison staff. Justices ultimately tossed out the state's death-row policies, which contributed to the 12 years that passed without an execution.

Davis is scheduled for execution April 17. He did not file a clemency petition and was not a party to the lawsuit challenging clemency rules.

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STACEY E. JOHNSON

Stacey Johnson, 47, is scheduled to die for the 1993 death of Carol Heath, who was beaten and strangled and had her throat slit. Heath's daughter, Ashley, told the state Parole Board in 2015 that she had forgiven Johnson and asked the panel to spare his life, but Heath's son, Jonathan Palmer, told the board he completely disagreed.

The Latest: Arkansas asks court to lift inmate's stay

  The Latest: Arkansas asks court to lift inmate's stay Arkansas is asking the state's highest court to reconsider its decision to halt the execution of one of the first inmates who had been scheduled to die under a plan to execute several men before the end of the month.Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked the state Supreme Court Saturday to lift the stay it issued to Bruce Ward, who was scheduled to die on Monday. The court had issued the stay on Friday.State and federal rulings have blocked the state's plan to execute eight inmates before its supply of a lethal injection drug expires at the end of April.

FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Bruce Earl Ward, left, and Don William Davis. Stacey Johnson, 47, is scheduled to die for the 1993 death of Carol Heath, who was beaten and strangled and had her throat slit.

The 7 inmates scheduled to die in Arkansas this month . Kelly P. Kissel, Associated Press. FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Bruce Earl Ward, left, and Don William Davis.

Johnson's initial conviction was overturned when the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that a police officer should not have told jurors that Ashley Heath, then 6 and found incompetent to testify, had picked Johnson out of a photo lineup. She testified at Johnson's retrial three years later.

DNA evidence included a hair found on Carol Heath's body. A cigarette butt found in the pocket of a shirt left at a roadside park with Heath's blood on it also had Johnson's saliva on it.

Johnson is scheduled for execution April 20. The state Parole Board has said his clemency request is without merit. His request for a stay amid a challenge of the state's execution procedures was rejected Thursday.

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LEDELL LEE

Lee, 51, was sentenced to die for the 1993 death of Debra Reese, a neighbor who was beaten to death in her home with a tire iron that her husband had given her for protection. He is also serving prison terms for the rapes of a Jacksonville woman and a Jacksonville teenager.

Lee, who struck Reese 36 times, was arrested less than an hour after the slaying after spending some of the $300 he had stolen from her.

Arkansas inmates scheduled for execution ask court to review

  Arkansas inmates scheduled for execution ask court to review Arkansas inmates who had been set for execution in a series of double executions this month said Sunday that a federal appeals court should take up their claim that the compressed timetable would violate "evolving standards of decency."U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker granted the inmates stays of execution on Saturday, but she rejected their arguments that too little time between executions violated their constitutional rights. Arkansas originally planned to execute eight inmates between Monday and April 27 because its supply of one of the three execution drugs, midazolam, expires on April 30 and the state says it does not have a supplier to replenish it.

FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Bruce Earl Ward, left, and Don William Davis. Stacey Johnson, 47, is scheduled to die for the 1993 death of Carol Heath, who was beaten and strangled and had her throat slit.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge says Arkansas may not execute an inmate who has won a clemency recommendation from the state Parole Board until the panel allows for a 30-day comment period.

He had been released on parole 10 weeks before her death after serving time for burglary and theft. DNA evidence linked Lee to other attacks, including the abduction of Christine Lewis, 22.

Lewis was abducted five days before being found beaten, raped and strangled. A trial in that death ended with a hung jury, and prosecutors dropped the case after the state Supreme Court upheld Lee's death sentence for Reese's murder.

Lee is scheduled for execution April 20. The state Parole Board has said his clemency request is without merit. His request for a stay amid a challenge of the state's execution procedures was rejected Thursday.

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JACK HAROLD JONES JR.

Jones, 52, was convicted of killing bookkeeper Mary Phillips and trying to kill her daughter, Lacy, during a 1995 robbery at an accounting office. Phillips was found naked from the waist down with a cord from a nearby coffee pot tied around her neck. Lacy was left for dead but awoke while police were taking photographs of her.

Lacy testified that Jones had visited the accounting office twice on the day her mother died and that she got a good look at him. She was able to describe his tattoos.

Jones claimed after his conviction that his lawyers had failed him by not attempting to prove the killing was committed in a cruel or depraved manner. Courts rejected his appeals.

The Latest: Arkansas court blocks execution of 2 inmates

  The Latest: Arkansas court blocks execution of 2 inmates <p>The Arkansas Supreme Court has halted the executions of two men originally scheduled to be put to death Monday night, putting another legal roadblock in place in Arkansas' plan to conduct eight executions before the end of April.</p>3:50 p.m.

This combination of undated photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Jack Harold Jones Jr., left STACEY E. JOHNSON Stacey Johnson, 47, is scheduled to die for the 1993 death of Carol Heath, who was beaten and strangled and had her throat slit.

FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Bruce Earl Ward, left, and Don William Davis. Stacey Johnson, 47, is scheduled to die for the 1993 death of Carol Heath, who was beaten and strangled and had her throat slit.

Jones is scheduled for execution April 24. The state Parole Board has scheduled a hearing for Friday on his clemency request. A federal judge said he will wait until after a decision on Jones' clemency request before deciding whether to halt the execution.

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MARCEL WILLIAMS

Williams, 46, was convicted of suffocating a young mother of two after raping her. Stacy Errickson typically carpooled to work in North Little Rock with a friend, but the 22-year-old drove her own truck on Nov. 20, 1994.

Prosecutors say Williams abducted her when she stopped for gas in Jacksonville, then drove her to various ATMs and had her take out about $350. Police found the woman's hosiery and lunch cooler at a storage facility, then found her beaten and bound body in a park two weeks later.

Williams confessed to killing the woman. The jury deliberated about 30 minutes.

He is scheduled for execution April 24. The state Parole Board has said his clemency request is without merit. His request for a stay amid a challenge of the state's execution procedures was rejected Thursday.

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KENNETH WILLIAMS

Williams, 38, was serving a life sentence for the 1998 death of University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff cheerleader Dominique Hurd when he escaped by hiding in a container of hog slop that was being ferried from the prison kitchen to a prison hog farm outside the main gates.

After getting out, he killed Cecil Boren, who lived near the prison, and stole a truck.

During a chase in southern Missouri the next day, Williams crashed into a water-delivery truck, killing the driver, before police captured him.

Jurors ignored Williams' plea for mercy after his relatives said that his father drank and beat the children and their mother. While in prison, he said he had killed another person in 1998.

Williams is scheduled for execution April 27. The state Parole Board has said his clemency request is without merit. His request for a stay amid a challenge of the state's execution procedures was rejected Thursday.

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Follow Kelly P. Kissel on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kisselAP and go to http://bigstory.ap.org/author/kelly-p-kissel to see his work.

Company sues Arkansas, charging fraud over lethal injection drugs .
<p>A major U.S. pharmaceutical firm sued Arkansas again over capital punishment on Tuesday, claiming prison officials fraudulently obtained a muscle relaxant to administer in several executions and demanding the drug in question be confiscated from the state.</p>Arkansas, which last carried out an execution a dozen years ago, has sought to resume capital punishment this month with a plan that originally called for putting eight inmates to death by lethal injection in 11 days.

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