Martes, 19 Febrero, 2019

Arkansas judge: Order guided by law, not execution views

Anti-death penalty supporter Randy Gardner right embraces Abraham Bonowitz left after they read on his phone the 11:45 p.m. decision to halt the execution in their taped off History of the death penalty in Colorado
Eleena Tovar | 20 Abril, 2017, 13:37

McKesson seeks an order that would force prison officials to return the company's supply of vecuronium bromide, one of three drugs used in the state's lethal injection protocol. Midazolam, along with the paralytic vecuronium bromide, and potassium chloride which in heavy doses will stop the heart, comprise the state's three-drug lethal injection procedure.

A death row inmate scheduled to be executed in an Arkansas prison today was granted a stay by the highest court in the USA state hours before his lethal injection, his attorneys said.

The court voted Wednesday to halt the execution of an inmate facing lethal injection Thursday night, two days after justices stayed the executions of two other inmates.

It was unclear if Attorney General Leslie 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.

"The secrecy is not created to protect the manufacturers, it is created to keep the manufacturers in the dark about misuse of their products", Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told the paper.

This combination of undated photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Stacey E. Johnson, left, and Ledell Lee. In 2016, the 20 executions in the United States represented the fewest in the country in 25 years.

The Supreme Court has the final say on nearly every execution, and the justices reject all but a few emergency appeals by inmates.

The state of Arkansas is asking the U.S. Supreme Court not to block a series of executions scheduled this month beginning Thursday.

Separate from the inmates' legal challenges, a handful of drug companies are saying they don't want their products used in the executions.

"I know the families of the victims are anxious for a clear-cut explanation from the majority as to how they came to this conclusion and how there appears to be no end to the court's review", Hutchinson said in a statement after the Wednesday ruling.

Later questioned by the defense, Jenkins told the courtroom Griffin never explicitly said the drugs were not going to be used for executions.

Two inmates are scheduled for execution Thursday night with three more executions planned for next week.

McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc. on Tuesday filed a complaint in Pulaski County Circuit Court seeking a temporary restraining order or injunction "to prevent the use of our product for something other than a legitimate medical objective", it said in a statement. Attorneys for the inmate filed a request Wednesday for a stay with the state's highest court.

The judge facing re-election, Courtney Goodson, lost her bid for chief justice a year ago after conservative groups blanketed the state with ads attacking her.

A judge in Pulaski County on Tuesday rejected the request for DNA testing from inmate Ledell Lee.

Two more inmates - Don Davis and Bruce Ward - were scheduled to be executed this past Monday, April 17, but were not.

It's unclear whether the new execution obstacles would have any political fallout for the court. The state originally wanted to put to death eight men in 11 days but that is down to five after the two won stays Monday and a third was earlier put on hold by a federal judge.