Crime Arkansas looks to carry out 1st execution since 2005

03:11  21 april  2017
03:11  21 april  2017 Source:   Associated Press

Serial executions take toll on executioners too, critics say

  Serial executions take toll on executioners too, critics say Putting a prisoner to death "stays with you for a long time," says Ron McAndrew.The former warden of Florida State Prison says his own mental health had begun to deteriorate by the time he left his position in 1998 after taking part in eight executions.

Log Out . Site search web search by. (AP) - Arkansas on Thursday canceled the third of eight planned executions in the face of court challenges, but hoped to push ahead later in the night with its first execution since 2005 .

Arkansas ' attempt to carry out its first executions in nearly 12 years has been thwarted by a state Supreme Court that's been the focus of campaigns by conservative groups to reshape the judiciary.More >>.

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)

VARNER, Ark. — Arkansas on Thursday canceled the third of eight planned executions in the face of court challenges, but hoped to push ahead later in the night with its first execution since 2005.

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.

VARNER, Ark. — Arkansas on Thursday canceled the third of eight planned executions in the face of court challenges, but hoped to push ahead later in the night with its first execution since 2005 . A ruling from the state Supreme Court allowing officials to use a lethal injection drug that a supplier says

(AP) - The Latest on Arkansas ' efforts to carry out executions before the end of April (all times Hawaii lawmakers criticize Sessions' island judge remarks Arkansas looks to carry out 1 st execution since 2005

A ruling from the state Supreme Court allowing officials to use a lethal injection drug that a supplier says was misleadingly obtained cleared the way for Arkansas to execute Ledell Lee on Thursday night, although he still had pending requests for reprieve. Arkansas dropped plans to execute a second inmate, Stacey Johnson, on the same day after the state Supreme Court said it wouldn't reconsider his stay.

The state originally set four double executions over an 11-day period in April. The eight executions 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. The state says the executions need to be carried out before its supply of one lethal injection drug, midazolam, expires on April 30. Three executions were canceled because of court decisions, and legal rulings have put at least one of the other five in doubt.

Arkansas execution plan again thrown into doubt

  Arkansas execution plan again thrown into doubt 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.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.

Arkansas looks to carry out 1 st execution since 2005 . 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 Thursday for two inmates.More >.

Arkansas looks to carry out 1 st execution since 2005 . 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 Thursday for two inmates.More >>.

Lee was set to be executed for the 1993 death of his neighbor Debra Reese, who was struck 36 times with a tire tool her husband had given her for protection. A prison spokesman said Lee on Thursday declined a last meal and opted instead to receive communion.

Justices on Thursday stayed an order by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray that halted the use of vecuronium bromide, one of three drugs used in the state's lethal injection process, in any execution. McKesson Corp. says the state obtained the drug under false pretenses and that it wants nothing to do with executions.

"McKesson was duped ... into providing the drugs," lawyer John Tull said, arguing the company could see its reputation and bottom line suffer. McKesson did not have an immediate comment on the court allowing its drug to be used.

Justices also denied an attempt by makers of midazolam and potassium chloride — the two other drugs in Arkansas' execution plan — to intervene in McKesson's fight over the vecuronium bromide. The pharmaceutical companies say there is a public health risk if their drugs are diverted for use in executions, and that the state's possession of the drugs violates rules within their distribution networks.

Arkansas Can Execute One Inmate Tonight, Court Rules

  Arkansas Can Execute One Inmate Tonight, Court Rules The state of Arkansas was preparing to execute one man Thursday night mere hours after a court overruled a restraining order that blocked the state's use of one of its lethal injection drugs. Faced with a number of legal hurdles, Arkansas in the early evening won a legal victory allowing it to move forward with the execution of Ledell Lee at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m.) on Thursday.The state Supreme Court sided with state prosecutors and tossed a restraining order that a county court on Wednesday night had placed on Arkansas's use of the paralytic vecuronium bromide — one of three drugs in the lethal injection cocktail.

Arkansas looks to carry out 1 st execution since 2005 . 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 Thursday for two inmates.More >.

Arkansas looks to carry out 1 st execution since 2005 . 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 Thursday for two inmates.

The legal maneuvers frustrated Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who had set the execution schedule less than two months ago. The state's elected prosecutors also criticized the roadblocks to the execution plans.

"Through the manipulation of the judicial system, these men continue to torment the victims' families in seeking, by any means, to avoid their just punishment," the prosecutors said in a joint statement issued Thursday.

The Arkansas Supreme Court said in a 4-3 ruling that it would not reconsider its decision to stay Johnson's execution. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office said she would not appeal that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lawyers for the state have complained that the inmates are filing court papers just to run out the clock on Arkansas' midazolam supply. Prisons director Wendy Kelley has said the state has no way to obtain more midazolam or vecuronium bromide. At one point in the proceedings before a federal judge last week, Arkansas Solicitor General Lee Rudofsky declared, "Enough is enough."

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Associated Press Writers Jill Bleed and Andrew DeMillo contributed to this report from Little Rock.

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Follow Kelly P. Kissel at www.twitter.com/kisselAP and Sean Murphy at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

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This story has been corrected to show that the inmate's name is Ledell Lee, not Lendell Lee. It also corrects the spelling of vecuronium bromide in one instance.

UN rights office 'deeply troubled' about Arkansas executions .
The U.N. human rights office says it's "deeply troubled" by four executions over eight days in Arkansas, insisting an accelerated timetable for them based on the looming expiration of a sedative used "adds to the arbitrariness and cruelty of the whole process."Spokeswoman Liz Throssell stopped short Friday of condemning the executions, but said: "Rushing executions can deny prisoners the opportunity to fully exercise their right to appeal against their conviction and/or sentence."Throssell said use of the sedative midazolam "has been criticized for failing to prevent people from suffering pain.

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