Arkansas prepping for lethal injections despite halt from courts

Meanwhile, the Arkansas Supreme Court on Monday also barred a state judge who blocked the multiple execution plan from taking up any death penalty related cases after he participated in a protest where he appeared to mimic a death row inmate about to receive lethal injection.

A spokesman for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she's evaluating options on how to proceed. The court had issued the stay on Friday.

The state had set the expedited schedule because one of the drugs in its difficult-to-obtain lethal injection mix, the sedative midazolam, expires at the end of April. In a petition to that court, Ward's attorneys described him as a diagnosed schizophrenic who has spent decades in solitary confinement without treatment for his mental illness and argued that he was not competent to be executed. A federal judge has also stayed the executions on different grounds, and the state has appealed that ruling.

McKesson, the drug wholesaler that sold the vecuronium bromide to Arkansas DOC, refunded the money to the state and issued a restraining order against the DOC from using the drug in lethal injections.

Judge Kristine Baker of Federal District Court in Little Rock, AK, on Saturday blocked Arkansas from carrying out up to seven executions this month.

Arkansas wants to rush executions so it can use the drug Midazolam before it expires.

The state was prepared to execute the men in an 11-day span starting Monday, a move that drew rebuke from death penalty opponents who said it was cruel and unusual punishment, and increased the likelihood of a botched execution. Only Texas has executed six inmates in less time. The federal judge, however, provided officials with an opportunity to address her concerns at a hearing on Monday.


The prisoners' lawyers say the midazolam would not prevent the inmates from feeling excruciating pain as their lungs and heart shut down.

The inmates asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to take its time reviewing transcripts and rulings, rather than complete their work in two days as the state has asked.

"It is unfortunate that a USA district judge has chosen to side with the convicted prisoners in one of their many last-minute attempts to delay justice", said Judd Deere, a spokesman for the office. Supporters have said it is effective, and the U.S. Supreme Court has authorized its use.

Midazolam, which is used as an anesthetic.

Hours before the first execution was scheduled to begin, fights continued on several fronts in state and federal court.

The state Supreme Court reassigned the cases from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen days after he participated in the anti-death penalty demonstration outside the governor's mansion. Griffen, who served 12 years on the state appeals court, previously battled with the judicial discipline panel over remarks he made criticizing President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.

Arkansas employs potassium chloride in combination with vecuronium bromide and midazolam.


"We will continue our efforts to facilitate the return of our product and ensure that it is used in line with our supplier agreement", McKesson said in a statement. It said Thursday that it issued Arkansas a refund of its purchase price, but that the drug wasn't returned.

Arkansas' execution plan has been met with widespread criticism.

. In the brief, the companies say that their contracts with distributors specifically note that the drugs are not to be provided to correctional facilities.

According to drugs.com, midazolam is a sedative in the benzodiazepine family that "may cause severe breathing problems (eg, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest), especially when used for sedation in noncritical care settings". If court proceedings are pushed into May, it won't be able to carry out the executions with the drugs it has on hand.

"These thoughts weigh heavily on the court, but the court has a responsibility to uphold the Constitution".

A member of the United Methodist Church, Copley has been an outspoken critic of the death penalty and had attended a rally that day, in which the actor Johnny Depp joined hundreds at the Arkansas state Capitol calling on Hutchinson to halt the executions, when he learned about Griffen's ruling. The inmates wanted stays of execution while the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a separate case concerning access to independent mental health experts by defendants.

The inmates lost on some claims, including one that their lawyers couldn't provide adequate counsel under the state's schedule and that the tight timetable itself was improper.

The lawsuit behind the injunction was filed on behalf of nine condemned prisoners.



Popular
  • Talk-radio host Alex Jones argues persona in custody dispute

    Talk-radio host Alex Jones argues persona in custody dispute

    She says his outbursts on his Infowars website , his radio show, and his YouTube channel are evidence that he's not a fit parent. He also claims USA moon landings were faked and that the government faked the Sandy Hook school shooting using actors.
    Kids scramble to collect 100000 Easter eggs on N.J. beach

    Kids scramble to collect 100000 Easter eggs on N.J. beach

    If a participant finds a golden egg, they must bring the egg (along with its note) to the church Sunday to redeem the prize. VARIOUS MEMBERS that helped with Albright Methodist Church's annual Easter Egg hunt are pictured at last year's event.

    County Easter Egg Hunt Schedule

    Peter Cottontail may like to come "hopping down the bunny trail, ' but the Easter Bunny, apparently, likes to ride the rails". Later in the morning, the Gypsum Recreation Center will host Egg-quatics, an underwater egg hunt for awesome prizes.
  • Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce tells Craig Shakespeare: Welcome to the madhouse

    Riyad Mahrez set Vardy free and he easily turned Jeffrey Schlupp before curling in a shot that Wayne Hennessey should have dealt with.

    Jury in ex-NFL player's trial to deliberate for 5th day

    Defense attorneys said Belichick's testimony was not determined to be critical, so it was not an issue when he did not respond. Hernandez has been charged for first-degree murder in the 2012 shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
    Drake, the Chainsmokers lead with 22 Billboard Award nods

    Drake, the Chainsmokers lead with 22 Billboard Award nods

    Albums from Beyonce , Drake, Rihanna, twenty one pilots and the Weeknd are up for top Billboard 200 album . Also up for that prize are Coldplay , The Lumineers, Twenty One Pilots and X Ambassadors.
  • Insurers say Trump must do more to stabilize 'Obamacare'

    Insurers say Trump must do more to stabilize 'Obamacare'

    Several major insurers, including Humana Inc and Aetna Inc, have announced plans to exit some state exchanges in 2018. To qualify for cost-sharing reductions, people must make between $24,300 and $60,750 for a family of four.
    No significant chemical discharge from US Steel spill

    No significant chemical discharge from US Steel spill

    Chicago's water remains safe to drink after a chemical spill in a tributary of Lake Michigan, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday. The resulting legal action against the utility-dramatized in the film Erin Brockovich-resulted in a $333-million settlement.
    Texans exercise fifth-year option on Jadeveon Clowney

    Texans exercise fifth-year option on Jadeveon Clowney

    As a first-round pick, he signed a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year, which the Texans have now picked up. He led the team with 16 tackles for loss and was second to Whitney Mercilus (22) with 17 hits on the quarterback.
  • Shocking Footage As Lyon Players Attacked By Bastia Fans During Warm-Up

    Shocking Footage As Lyon Players Attacked By Bastia Fans During Warm-Up

    Thankfully, the supporters have been cleared off the pitch at the Stade Armand Cesari and the game is now underway. The home supporters invaded the pitch while the visiting players were warming up.

    Trump declares US-Russia relations may be at 'all-time low'

    He said Russia's hope was that Putin's message would be passed on to US President Donald Trump. The Russian and Syrian governments have both denied involvement in the chemical attack.
    DNA leads to arrest in murder of jogger in Massachusetts

    DNA leads to arrest in murder of jogger in Massachusetts

    Of note, Colon Ortiz has not yet been charged with murder, but the attorney said he anticipates those charges will come soon. Police later visited the driver's residence, and eventually obtained a voluntary DNA sample through a mouth swab.

CONNECT