Supreme Court declares way open to executions | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Supreme Court declares way open to executions

Posted By on Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 4:38 PM

DEATH CHAMBER: Supreme Court clears its use, as early as April.
  • DEATH CHAMBER: Supreme Court clears its use, as early as April.
The Arkansas Supreme Court late this afternoon issued a clarification in the case of eight Death Row inmates seeking a continuing stay of execution pending challenges in the case. The stay is over, the court said.

Contrary to an argument by the inmates' attorneys, the Supreme Court said a stay of execution had been dissolved by court order last week following a U.S. Supreme Court decision not to take up the case. The Supreme Court also refused a request to hear oral arguments in the case.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge promptly issued a statement:

“The Arkansas Supreme Court agreed with me that the stay of executions lifted when the Court issued the mandate. It is past time for the victims’ families to see justice for the horrible murders of their loved ones. My office is prepared to respond to any and all challenges that might occur between now and the execution dates. I will do all I can to finally bring closure to the victims’ families and to honor the verdicts and sentences imposed by juries decades ago.”
The inamtes have filed other motions in circuit court. The state, at last report, was out of a supply of one of three drugs used in the lethal injection process and a second drug is set to expire in April. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said the state will take steps to obtain the drugs and has set eight execution dates to be done two a day over a two-week span in April.

John Williams, one of the inmate attorneys, wrote:

The order dissolves the stay but does not end the case. And the Arkansas Supreme Court has never rejected our evidence that the state's chosen execution protocol causes atrocious suffering. We will continue to fight for our clients and to contest this appalling execution schedule. 

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