Crime Arkansas execution plan again thrown into doubt

21:16  20 april  2017
21:16  20 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.

(AP) — An aggressive effort by the state of Arkansas to carry out its first executions since 2005 stalled for the second time this week as courts blocked lethal injections planned for Thursday, prompting Gov. Asa Hutchinson to express frustration at legal delaying tactics. While the latest court rulings could be

An aggressive effort by the state of Arkansas to carry out its first executions since 2005 stalled for the second time this week as courts blocked lethal injections planned for Thursday, prompting Gov. Asa Hutchinson to express frustration at legal delaying tactics.

In this Monday evening, April 17, 2017 photo, the sun sets behind clouds over an Arkansas State Police command post outside the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction near Varner, Ark. As state officials prepare to carry out a double execution Thursday ahead of a drug expiration deadline and despite the setback the U.S. Supreme Court delivered late Monday, lawyers for those condemned men look to be taking a different approach: claiming the prisoners are actually innocent. (Stephen B. Thornton/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP) © The Associated Press In this Monday evening, April 17, 2017 photo, the sun sets behind clouds over an Arkansas State Police command post outside the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction near Varner, Ark. As state officials prepare to carry out a double execution Thursday ahead of a drug expiration deadline and despite the setback the U.S. Supreme Court delivered late Monday, lawyers for those condemned men look to be taking a different approach: claiming the prisoners are actually innocent. (Stephen B. Thornton/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas' aggressive effort to conduct its first executions since 2005 stalled for a second time this week when courts blocked lethal injections set for Thursday, prompting Gov. Asa Hutchinson to complain that state judges aren't honoring the decisions jurors made when sentencing the prisoners to death.

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.

While the latest court rulings could be overturned, Arkansas now faces an uphill battle to execute any inmates before the end of April, when one of its lethal injection drugs expires. " Arkansas suffers 2 setbacks to multiple execution plan .

Judge halts Arkansas plan to execute 8 inmates in 11 days. N. Korean official: US more vicious, aggressive under Trump. Email check failed, please try again . Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.

The highest courts in Arkansas and the U.S. 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.

The state originally set eight executions over an 11-day period in April, which would have been the most by a state in such a compressed period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Wave after wave of legal challenges followed.

The first two inmates scheduled for execution on Monday were spared — one of them when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to reverse an Arkansas Supreme Court order minutes before his death warrant expired. The state concedes the pair will not be put to death this month. The remaining six could still theoretically be put to death this month, though two of those inmates have received stays that the state hasn't yet appealed. Another ruling Wednesday could scuttle the entire schedule.

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.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An aggressive effort by the state of Arkansas to carry out its first executions since 2005 stalled for the second time this week as courts blocked lethal injections planned for Thursday, prompting Gov. Asa Hutchinson to express frustration at legal delaying tactics.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An aggressive effort by the state of Arkansas to carry out its first executions since 2005 stalled for the second time this week as courts blocked lethal injections planned for Thursday, prompting Gov. Asa Hutchinson to express frustration at legal delaying tactics.

In that decision, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray blocked the state from using the drug vecuronium bromide, siding with McKesson Corp., which had argued that it sold Arkansas the drug for medical use, not executions. The company said it would suffer harm financially and to its reputation if the executions were carried out.

"McKesson was duped ... into providing the drugs," lawyer John Tull argued. "It's a very big deal at McKesson to have our drugs associated with that."

Judd Deere, a spokesman for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, said the state will appeal Gray's ruling.

In another setback for the state, the Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a stay of execution for Stacey Johnson, one of the inmates scheduled to die Thursday, drawing a rebuke from death penalty supporter Hutchinson. Ledell Lee, who had also been scheduled for execution Thursday, is still seeking a stay in a separate case.

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.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An aggressive effort by the state of Arkansas to carry out its first executions since 2005 stalled for the second time this week as courts blocked lethal injections planned for Thursday, prompting Gov. Asa Hutchinson to express frustration at legal delaying tactics.

(AP) — An aggressive effort by the state of Arkansas to carry out its first executions since 2005 stalled for the second time this week as courts blocked lethal injections planned for Thursday, prompting Gov. Asa Hutchinson to express frustration at legal delaying tactics. While the latest court rulings could be

"When I set the dates, I knew there could be delays in one or more of the cases, but I expected the courts to allow the juries' sentences to be carried out since each case had been reviewed multiple times by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which affirmed the guilt of each," Hutchinson said in a statement.

Lawyers for the state said earlier this month that the prisoners know the state's supply a sedative that's part of its execution plan expires April 30 and that it would be "impossible" to execute the prisoners because "Arkansas has no source of midazolam" beyond that already in stock.

It was unclear whether Rutledge would appeal the stay of execution for Johnson to the U.S. Supreme Court after the state lost an appeal to the high court on a case involving another inmate Monday night. Deere said the state was reviewing its options.

In the vecuronium bromide case, a state prison official testified that he deliberately ordered the drug last year in a way that there wouldn't be a paper trail, relying on phone calls and text messages. Arkansas Department of Correction Deputy Director Rory Griffin said he didn't keep records of the texts, but McKesson salesman Tim Jenkins did. In text messages from Jenkins' phone, there is no mention that the drug would be used in executions.

Pharmaceuticals companies and other suppliers have objected to their drugs being used in executions and have been trying to stop states from getting supplies for lethal injections.

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Associated Press writer Andrew DeMillo contributed to this report.

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Follow Kelly P. Kissel at www.twitter.com/kisselAP and Jill Bleed at www.twitter.com/jzbleed

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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