Crime Arkansas Executions: First Two Men Scheduled to Die Push for Delay

14:41  13 april  2017
14:41  13 april  2017 Source:   NBC News

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 first two men scheduled to be executed during Arkansas 's historic spate of executions requested a delay Wednesday, citing the need to wait for the conclusion of a U.S. Supreme Court case.

Both men are scheduled for execution on April 27, 2017. A look at where things stand with two weeks remaining before the executions are set to begin Two lawsuits are pending in federal court that could delay or halt Arkansas ' executions .

Image: Don William Davis © Don William Davis, seen in a 2013 mugshot, has been scheduled for execution April 17, 2017. Image: Don William Davis The first two men scheduled to be executed during Arkansas's historic spate of executions requested a delay Wednesday, citing the need to wait for the conclusion of a U.S. Supreme Court case.

Attorneys for death row inmates Don Davis and Bruce Ward have asked the Arkansas State Supreme Court to temporarily stay their executions, scheduled for April 17, until the conclusion of McWilliams v. Dunn, which is playing out in Washington.

Oral arguments in that case are expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 24 and will discuss whether a defendant sentenced to death in Alabama was denied access to an independent expert who could assess their mental health.

Judge Blocks 1 of 8 Arkansas Executions

  Judge Blocks 1 of 8 Arkansas Executions The state hoped to put to death eight prisoners in a 10-day period."The victims' families have waited far too long to see justice for their loved ones, and today's decision from Judge Marshall allows all but one of the scheduled executions to move forward," a spokesman for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement.

Error 404: Page Not Found. Two men killed on Lake Hamilton last night.

A federal judge in Arkansas has blocked the execution of one of eight death row inmates scheduled to die later this month, saying the schedule set by the The Associated Press reports that one other inmate could have his execution delayed , as well. The final two inmates did not request clemency.

The 1985 case Ake v. Oklahoma first established that the state is required to provide a psychiatric evaluation on behalf of the defendant if he/she desired it, citing the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The contemporary case considered by the country's highest court is of particular interest to the two Arkansas inmates because Davis is thought to have an IQ so low that he is intellectually disabled and Ward has a long history of mental illness that includes paranoid schizophrenia.

Their lawyers argue that they did not have access to an independent mental health expert in preparation for their cases, as is their right.

Related: Arkansas Executions: Damien Echols, Ex-Death Row Inmate, Will Speak for Condemned

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.

In Arkansas , eight men are scheduled to die by lethal injection this month. Since I am one of the last to be executed , there are some people who think that if one of the first executions is botched, it could prolong the lives of the others, including me.

Error 404: Page Not Found. A push for legalizing medicinal marijuana in Arkansas .

"The Court should recall its mandate," the state court filing said, "not only because its previous rulings were flatly contrary to Ake, but also because the Supreme Court will soon decide that question. To execute Don Davis or Bruce Ward before that question is answered would deeply offend 'the integrity of the judicial process.'"

While Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will read over the motion, her office said she plans for the executions to continue.

"[Rutledge] supports the death penalty," her Communications Director Judd Deere told NBC News. "The families have waited far too long to see justice for these horrible murders and this office is prepared and will continue to respond to all challenges that might occur between now and the executions."

Image: Bruce Earl Ward © Bruce Earl Ward, seen in an undated mugshot, has been scheduled for execution April 17, 2017. Image: Bruce Earl Ward

The state of Arkansas has come under a huge amount of scrutiny after Gov. Asa Hutchinson's administration scheduled eight executions between April 17 and 27. The state reasoned that the fast pace was necessary because one of the lethal injection drugs, midazolam, will expire at the end of the month, and it is unclear when more would be available.

Arkansas Executions: First Two Men Scheduled to Die Push for Delay

  Arkansas Executions: First Two Men Scheduled to Die Push for Delay Arkansas Executions: First Two Men Scheduled to Die Push for DelayAttorneys for death row inmates Don Davis and Bruce Ward have asked the Arkansas State Supreme Court to temporarily stay their executions, scheduled for April 17, until the conclusion of McWilliams v. Dunn, which is playing out in Washington.

Both men are scheduled for execution April 17, 2017. – Arkansas plans to execute eight inmates – two each on four days – in a 10-day period next month – an accelerated schedule designed to carry out the death sentences before a chemical component of the lethal injections expires.

Both men are scheduled for execution on more. Photo: AP. Two lawsuits are pending in federal court that could delay or halt Arkansas ' executions . A delay beyond April 30 would be as effective as halting the lethal injections, as Arkansas has said it has difficulty obtaining the midazolam

These would be the first executions to be conducted in Arkansas in a dozen years and the most performed that quickly since the death penalty was restored in 1976. Eight were originally scheduled, but one was blocked.

For more coverage of this story, visit NBCNews.com/ArkansasExecutions

All of the inmates who are facing lethal injection have challenged the pace of executions in federal court, calling it unconstitutional. A decision from that challenge is expected to be delivered on Friday.

Texas Death Chamber © File - The gurney in the death chamber is shown in this May 27, 2008 file photo from Huntsville, Tex... Texas Death Chamber

'Let's End This': In Arkansas, a Victim's Daughter Still Wants Justice .
The daughter of the victim of the Arkansas death row inmate who's execution was stayed at the last minute on Monday wants justice for her mother.The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to overturn the stay on the death sentence of Don Davis, the man who shot her mother in the back of the head after burglarizing her home in 1990.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!