Crime Federal judges deny efforts to delay Arkansas executions

08:36  24 april  2017
08:36  24 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.

The state said the appeals are just delaying tactics and should be denied . But four of the eight inmates have had their executions blocked by the courts. Also on Sunday, two lower court federal judges ruled against inmates in separate cases.

The state said the appeals are just delaying tactics and should be denied . But four of the eight inmates have had their executions blocked by the courts. Also on Sunday, two lower court federal judges ruled against inmates in separate cases.

FILE - This combination of undated file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Jack Jones, left, and Marcel Williams. The two Arkansas inmates scheduled to be put to death Monday, April 24, 2017, in what could be the nation's first double execution in more than 16 years have asked an appeals court to halt their lethal injections because of poor health. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - This combination of undated file photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Jack Jones, left, and Marcel Williams. The two Arkansas inmates scheduled to be put to death Monday, April 24, 2017, in what could be the nation's first double execution in more than 16 years have asked an appeals court to halt their lethal injections because of poor health. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — 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.

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.

The state said the appeals are just delaying tactics and should be denied . But four of the eight inmates have had their executions blocked by the courts. Also on Sunday, two lower court federal judges ruled against inmates in separate cases.

Federal judges deny efforts to delay Arkansas executions . The state said the appeals are just delaying tactics and should be denied . It was not clear when the appeals court will rule.

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. They say he may be resistant to the lethal injection drug midazolam because of the drugs he is taking for his maladies and could suffer a "tortuous death."

Lawyers for Williams say he weighs 400 pounds and it will be difficult to find a vein for lethal injunction, so the drugs are unlikely to work as intended.

The state said the appeals are just delaying tactics and should be denied. It was not clear when the appeals court will rule.

Pause on Arkansas executions highlights national trend

  Pause on Arkansas executions highlights national trend An unprecedented series of recent court rulings that halted the execution of eight Arkansas prisoners reflects a decades-long national trend that has sharply curtailed the use of capital punishment. Death penalty experts say the court decisions are in keeping with a number of factors prompting executions in the United States to decline, including challenges based on DNA evidence, litigation over the drugs used in executions and increased use of life without parole as a sentencing option.

Federal judges deny efforts to delay Arkansas executions . It was not clear when the appeals court will rule. Arkansas originally wanted to execute eight inmates in 11 days by the end of April when its supply of midazolam expires.

The state said the appeals are just delaying tactics and should be denied . But four of the eight inmates have had their executions blocked by the courts. Also on Sunday, two lower court federal judges ruled against inmates in separate cases.

Arkansas originally wanted to execute eight inmates in 11 days by the end of April when its supply of midazolam expires. It put to death Ledell Lee last week in the state's first execution since 2005. But four of the eight inmates have had their executions blocked by the courts.

Also on Sunday, two lower court federal judges ruled against inmates in separate cases.

Judge Kristine Baker denied a request from several inmates, including Jones and Williams, that the rules for witnesses to view the executions be changed.

Judge J. Leon Holmes denied a stay of execution for Williams saying that the matter should be dealt with by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, because the inmate had already been appealed to the higher court.

Jones and Marcel Williams are scheduled to die on Monday and another inmate, Kenneth Williams, is set for execution Thursday. Both Jones and Williams have admitted they are guilty. Williams was sent to death row in 1994 for the rape and murder of Stacy Errickson. Jones was given the death penalty for the 1995 rape and murder of Mary Phillips.

Ohio governor delays nine executions .
<p>Ohio Governor John Kasich on Monday delayed nine executions because of an ongoing court battle over the state's lethal injection protocol.</p>The move by Kasich was necessary, the governor's office said, because a review by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would not be complete before June 14, when oral arguments in the Cincinnati court are scheduled.

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