ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com May 01, 2017


Court rulings blocks Arkansas plan for multiple executions

20 April 2017, 07:06 | Laverne Osborne

Arkansas inmates set to die Thursday claim innocence

Anti-death penalty supporter Randy Gardner left wipes away a tear moments after Abraham Bonowitz left read on his phone the 11:45pm Supreme Court decision to halt the execution in their taped off “protest corral” outside the Varner Unit late Monda

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - 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.

Judge Alice Gray ruled in favor of the drug distributor, McKesson Medical-Surgical Incorporated's claim that the state misled the company when the Arkansas Department of Correction purchased the drug, vecuronium bromide.

The company said that it "would not knowingly sell any prescription drug to [Arkansas Department of Correction] for any objective unless the ADC had a current medical license to file".

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

Inmates Bruce Ward (top row L to R), Don Davis, Ledell Lee, Stacy Johnson, Jack Jones (bottom row L to R), Marcel Williams, Kenneth Williams and Jason Mcgehee are shown in these booking photo provided.

Unless a court steps in, Ledell Lee and Stacey Johnson are set for execution Thursday night, and state prison officials have already moved them from death row to the nearby prison that houses the death chamber.

Lawyers for Lee are also petitioning for a reprieve from the state's top court, which has yet to issue a ruling.

If Gray's ruling is vacated by the Arkansas Supreme Court or the state obtains a different supply of vecuronium bromide, the executions of four other inmates who have not received individual stays could potentially go forward.

Lee and Johnson are the only two inmates among the group of eight to consistently maintain their innocence.


A federal appeals court had rejected their arguments after a district judge had sustained them.

The high court did not say what Griffen had done to warrant such a sanction, but the judge had been under intense criticism for participating in a protest against the death penalty.

The Innocence Project previously asked the state's circuit court to grant Johnson new DNA testing, CBS affiliate KTVH reports.

In text messages from Jenkins' phone, which came up at Wednesday's court hearing, there is no mention that the drug would be used in executions.

Griffen's order was dissolved on Monday by the Arkansas Supreme Court on the basis of McKesson's decision to withdraw the lawsuit.

"When I set the dates, I knew there could be delays in one or more of the cases, but I expected the courts to allow the juries' sentences to be carried out since each case had been reviewed multiple times by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which affirmed the guilt of each", Hutchinson said.

Lawyers for the inmates set to be executed Thursday are relying primarily on claims the men are innocent.

The medical supplier McKesson Corp. made a similar request in a separate case before a Pulaski County circuit judge, which he granted. There are no current stays blocking those executions, but both inmates have pending court challenges. It's the quickest timetable in Arkansas since 1926, though state officials say waiting more than two decades to put some of the killers to death could hardly be characterized as swift. 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.



Other News

Trending Now

British Foreign Secretary cancels Russian Federation trip post United States talks
Tillerson said Sunday he hopes Russian Federation will "be supportive of a process that will lead to a stable Syria". A spokesman for the Russian defense ministry said the U.S. had no proof of chemical weapons at the air base.

Real Madrid 'reject £42m Reds bid for Marco Asensio'
Asensio has made huge progress over the course of this season and there's just no way he is leaving Real Madrid any time soon. Real Madrid have reportedly rejected Liverpool's bid for Marco Asensio .

Columbus loses top defenseman for rest of playoffs
There are plenty of Blue Jackets who have failed to elevate their games, but they are not relied upon as much as Bobrovsky. Just about everything imaginable went wrong for the Penguins, and the outcome was still in doubt with 10 seconds to go.

Theresa May urges British voters to reject 'coalition of chaos'
MPs, the PM said, have a window of opportunity to hold a general election before negotiations with the European Union begin. Under that law, general elections are supposed to be held on a regular five-year schedule, with the next vote due in 2020.

Mike Pence visits US aircraft carrier as questions emerge over Trump's 'armada'
The uninhabited isles in Japanese-administered waters are known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China. North Korea did not refer to the mix-up but said the United States and its allies "should not mess with us".

Trump order targets foreign workers
Likewise, investigations during the election found that numerous Trump's branded products were manufactured outside of the U.S. Whether you're for or against the new executive order, there isn't much that is likely to change in the short term.

Apple to Dismantle Iconic Glass Cube at Fifth Avenue Store
Apple is expanding its flagship location from 32,000 square feet to 77,000 square feet, as The Real Deal originally reported. The $2 million job requires a site safety manager with the removal to be done by Englewood, NJ-based Waldorf Exteriors.