Crime Arkansas inmates scheduled for execution ask court to review

09:15  17 april  2017
09:15  17 april  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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.

Arkansas inmates scheduled for execution ask court to review . Posted: Updated This 2010 photo provided by the U.S District Court of Eastern District of Arkansas shows U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker.

In its filing Sunday, the inmates ' legal team said the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should review Baker's decision to reject part of their arguments. Arkansas has asked that the state Supreme Court to reverse its decision halting the execution of Bruce Earl Ward, which was set for Monday.

FILE- In this Jan. 4, 2017, file photo Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks to members of the press during a Q&A session in Little Rock, Ark. Hutchinson is a low-key former prosecutor known for delving into policy issues, but he has put himself and his state at the center of the national debate over the death penalty with his extraordinary plan to execute eight men before the end of April. The executions are set to begin Monday, April 17. (AP Photo/Brian Chilson, File) © The Associated Press FILE- In this Jan. 4, 2017, file photo Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks to members of the press during a Q&A session in Little Rock, Ark. Hutchinson is a low-key former prosecutor known for delving into policy issues, but he has put himself and his state at the center of the national debate over the death penalty with his extraordinary plan to execute eight men before the end of April. The executions are set to begin Monday, April 17. (AP Photo/Brian Chilson, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — 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."

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.

In its filing Sunday, the inmates ' legal team said the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should review Baker's decision to reject part of their arguments. Arkansas has asked that the state Supreme Court reverse its decision halting the execution of Bruce Earl Ward, which was set for Monday.

In its filing Sunday, the inmates ' legal team said the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should review Baker's decision to reject part of their arguments. Arkansas has asked that the state Supreme Court reverse its decision halting the execution of Bruce Earl Ward, which was set for Monday.

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.

Lawyers for the state appealed Baker's ruling immediately with the hope of beginning the executions Monday. In its filing Sunday, the inmates' legal team said the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should review Baker's decision to reject part of their arguments.

The lawyers said it was wrong for Baker to write that the inmates "did not establish a significant possibility of success on the merits on their claim that the compressed execution schedule is contrary to the evolving standards of decency."

Inmate slated to die Thursday due at hearing

  Inmate slated to die Thursday due at hearing LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — One of the five Arkansas inmates who are still scheduled to die before the end of the month is due at a hearing regarding his request for further DNA testing of evidence from his case. Ledell Lee was moved from prison Tuesday morning and was expected at a 1:30 p.m. hearing in Little Rock. He is one of two inmates scheduled for execution Thursday.The 51-year-old Lee was sentenced to die for the 1993 killing of his neighbor Debra Reese, who was struck 36 times with a baseball bat-like tool. He is also serving prison time for the rapes of a woman and teen from Jacksonville.

In its filing Sunday, the inmates ' legal team said the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should review Baker's decision to reject part of their arguments. Arkansas has asked that the state Supreme Court to reverse its decision halting the execution of Bruce Earl Ward, which was set for Monday.

In its filing Sunday, the inmates ' legal team said the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should review Baker's decision to reject part of their arguments. Arkansas has asked that the state Supreme Court reverse its decision halting the execution of Bruce Earl Ward, which was set for Monday.

Baker had said that while the Supreme Court has made reference to evolving standards, particularly when "punishments are so disproportionate as to be cruel and unusual," the Arkansas death row inmates were unlikely to prevail.

The attorney general's office says it will respond to the filing after full arguments are put before the appeals court.

While she rejected some of the inmates' arguments, Baker said there was a significant possibility that the inmates could successfully challenge the state's execution protocol based on other arguments. She said that while the state demonstrated it does not plan to torture the inmates, the inmates had a right to challenge the method of execution in an attempt to show it "creates a demonstrated risk of severe pain."

A different federal judge has issued a stay for one of the eight condemned prisoners and the state Supreme Court has issued one for another inmate. The six remaining executions are on hold because of Baker's order and because a state circuit judge in Little Rock ordered the state to not use a lethal injection drug until questions are settled on how the state obtained it.

Company sues Arkansas, charging fraud over lethal injection drugs

  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.

Protesters gather outside the state Capitol building on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Little Rock, Ark., to voice their opposition to Arkansas ' seven upcoming executions . Arkansas inmates scheduled for execution ask court to reviewMore>>.

In its filing Sunday, the inmates ' legal team said the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should review Baker's decision to reject part of their arguments. Arkansas has asked that the state Supreme Court reverse its decision halting the execution of Bruce Earl Ward, which was set for Monday.

That judge, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, has come under fire for taking part in anti-death penalty protests the same day after issuing his order stopping the use of the drug.

Arkansas has asked that the state Supreme Court reverse its decision halting the execution of Bruce Earl Ward, which was set for Monday. If it fails there, it can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The state is also seeking to overturn Griffen's order regarding the state's supply of vecuronium bromide.

The 8th Circuit could take up the appeal of Baker's order at any time. Any decision there would likely also be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Sunday, a federal judge in western Arkansas rejected a separate stay request from death row inmate Don Davis, who was originally scheduled to be put to death Monday. But the ruling did not change the situation because Baker's order had already halted all the executions.

Federal judges deny efforts to delay Arkansas executions .
Two Arkansas inmates scheduled to be put to death Monday in what could be the nation's first double execution in more than 16 years asked an appeals court on Sunday to halt their lethal injections because of poor health that could cause complications. Lawyers for Jack Jones and Marcel Williams asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sunday to grant them stays of execution.Jones' lawyers say he suffers from diabetes and is on insulin, has high blood pressure, neuropathy and had one leg amputated below the knee. He is on heavy doses of methadone and gabapentin.

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