Crime Arkansas Can Execute One Inmate Tonight, Court Rules

05:10  21 april  2017
05:10  21 april  2017 Source:   NBC News

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.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson had originally scheduled eight death row inmates to be executed at the end of April, but that plan has hit numerous roadblocks. So far the state has been forced to allow three death warrants to expire and a court stayed an additional inmate 's execution after.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on Arkansas ' plan to execute several inmates before the end of April (all times local): 8:50 p.m. The ruling came moments after the Arkansas Supreme Court granted a stay to one of two men scheduled for execution Thursday night.

Image: Death Row inmate at the Arkansas Department of Correction, Ledell Lee. © Death Row inmate at the Arkansas Department of Correction, Ledell Lee. Image: Death Row inmate at the Arkansas Department of Correction, Ledell Lee.

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 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.

World News Tonight World News Tonight . Arkansas had planned to execute eight inmates before the end of April, when one of its lethal injection drugs expires. The Arkansas court ruled 4-3 Monday to block the executions for Bruce Ward and Don Davis, who were originally scheduled to be

After the Arkansas Supreme Court stayed the execution of two inmates , the state’s attorney general asked the US Supreme Court to overturn the ruling so the execution of one could proceed.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Alice Gray had originally placed the restraining order on the drug because McKesson Medical-Surgical, a pharmaceutical company, claimed that the Arkansas Department of Correction had duped them into providing 100 vials of the vecuronium bromide.

But Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge appealed the case to the state Supreme Court who overruled Gray's decision, though they did not provide an opinion. This clears the field for Ledell Lee, 51, to face execution.

"At 7 p.m. we are preparing to move forward with the scheduled execution of inmate Ledell Lee, number 936," Department of Correction Spokesman Solomon Graves told reporters.

Lee was sentenced to death in October 1995 in Pulaski County for the murder of 26-year-old Debra Reese.

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.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Latest on Arkansas ' plan to execute several inmates before the end of April (all times local): 6:35 p.m. The ruling came moments after the Arkansas Supreme Court granted a stay to one of two men scheduled for execution Thursday night.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has blocked the executions of the two men who were scheduled to be put to death tonight . The Arkansas Supreme Court recognized that executing either man, before the Court answers this question for Mr. McWilliams, would be profoundly arbitrary and unjust.”

"His last meal request was that he receive communion, and he was given communion this afternoon," Graves said.

Because Communion — a bread wafer and a small amount of wine representing the body and blood of Jesus Christ — was not a full meal, the Department of Correction offered to provide a meal on his behalf to the rest of the prison population. Lee declined.

Related: Arkansas Inmates Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Block Remaining Executions

Reporters from the Associated Press, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and ABC-affiliate KATV were chosen as media witnesses an hour before the procedure was to take place.

At the last minute, the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, put Lee's execution on hold for 75 minutes. It was unclear which issue the court was debating. Lee's defense team had earlier in the day requested a stay to prove his innocence through DNA testing.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson had originally scheduled eight death row inmates to be executed at the end of April, but that plan has hit numerous roadblocks. So far the state has been forced to allow three death warrants to expire and a court stayed an additional inmate's execution after

Meanwhile, the Attorney General's Office announced that they will not move forward with an appeal of the stay for Stacey Johnson, the second inmate who had been scheduled for Thursday night.

Arkansas prepares for its fourth execution in eight days .
An Arkansas inmate is scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday night, ending an aggressive execution schedule that originally called for putting eight men to death over an 11-day period. The executions were scheduled to take place before one of the state’s lethal injection drugs expires Sunday.Williams faces the death penalty for killing former deputy prison warden Cecil Boren after escaping from the Cummins Unit prison in a 500-gallon barrel of pig food in 1999.

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