Arkansas determined to fight legal challenges to executions

FILE- In this Aug. 18 2015 file

FILE- In this Aug. 18 2015 file

Arkansas suffered two more legal setbacks Wednesday in its unprecedented plan to carry out multiple executions this month when the state supreme court halted one and a judge later ruled that the state can not use one of its drugs in any executions.

The executions set for Thursday would have been the first in Arkansas in a dozen years, and the eight together would have been the most for any state in as a short a period since the US death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Gray backed a lawsuit by drugs company McKesson, the supplier of the muscle relaxant vecuronium bromide that argued that it had been sold to the prison system on the understanding it would be used exclusively for medical purposes, and not for executions.

Why are executions stopped? Wave after wave of legal challenges followed. As state officials prepare to carry out a double execution Thursday ahead of a drug expiration deadline and despite the setback the U.S. Supreme Court delivered late Monday, lawyers for those condemned men look to be taking a different approach: claiming the prisoners are actually innocent.

According to court documents, the ADC acquired the drug under false pretense, telling McKesson that it would strictly be used for medical purposes.

America's largest drug wholesaler has once again succeeded in blocking the use of dishonestly-obtained medicines in Arkansas's planned "mass execution". Outside groups and the candidates spent more than $1.6 million a year ago on a pair of high court races that were among the most fiercely fought judicial campaigns in the state's history.

Governor Asa Hutchinson set the unprecedented schedule due to one of the drugs in the state's lethal injection mix expiring at the end of the month. Johnson's attorneys requested additional DNA testing on evidence that they say could prove his innocence in the 1993 rape and killing of Carol Heath.

Pence Issues North Korea Another Strong Warning: "Sword Stands Ready"
The Japanese leader called for a peaceful resolution to the North Korea tensions but did not rule out the need for tough measures. He also said North Korea believed its nuclear weapons protect it from the threat of military action by the US.

"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 state of Arkansas are trying to light a fire under a judge who has been slow to file written paperwork involving a death penalty case.

"While this ruling once against brings temporary relief, Arkansas continues to show no regard for human rights by rushing prisoners to their deaths", said Amnesty International's James Clark in a statement. McKesson withdrew that suit after the executions were stayed by a U.S. federal court, but re-filed its petition yesterday evening after that court's stay was lifted. Johnson was convicted of murder in 1997, and had been scheduled to be executed Thursday. Hutchinson says he wants a clear explanation from the court majority as to how they came to the decision.

Immediately after Gray's decision, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced plans to appeal the ruling to the Arkansas Supreme Court today.

The Arkansas attorney general's office is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject execution stays for a group of death row inmates, including five who are set for lethal injection over the next two weeks.

Griffin said he used phone calls and text messages past year to order one of Arkansas' three execution drugs. Lee's execution is now also on hold. Arkansas Department of Correction Deputy Director Rory Griffin said he didn't keep records of the texts, but McKesson salesman Tim Jenkins did. The judge ruled on a lawsuit by USA pharmaceutical wholesaler McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc which accused the state of obtaining the muscle relaxant vecuronium bromide under false pretences.

Recommended News

  • Oil prices mixed in choppy trade, rising USA  production weighs

    Oil prices mixed in choppy trade, rising USA production weighs

    Stockpiles expanded to 535.5 million barrels at the end of March, the highest in weekly data compiled by Bloomberg since 1982. U.S. drilling is now set to increase by 123,000 barrels a day in May, according to the U.S.

    Karlsson scores in OT to give Sharks 3-2 win over Oilers

    Just like that, a Sharks team that seemed dead in the water heading into this series appears to have acquired a new lease on life. The Oilers had already killed two penalties when Drake Caggiula got flagged for hooking with 14 seconds left in the first period.

    Corruption charges against ousted South Korean leader

    Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong is standing trial for offering or promising to offer bribes to Park and her friend Choi. The prosecution, which also brought in SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won for questioning, did not file charges against him.
  • 'We're not getting along with Russian Federation at all'

    The agreement was suspended after the U.S. launched its first attack on Syria during the country's six-year conflict last week. But Russia used its veto for the eighth time during Syria's six-year-old civil war to shield president Assad's government.
    Jenson Button to replace Fernando Alonso in Monaco Grand Prix

    Jenson Button to replace Fernando Alonso in Monaco Grand Prix

    He's swerving the most glamorous race on the Formula 1 calendar in order to compete at the Indy 500 in the US. Button won the Monaco Grand Prix back in 2009, and has two more podiums at the street circuit.

    The Patriots go to Washington -- some of them, at least

    The Boston Herald , citing sources close to the quarterback, reported that Brady is choosing to spend time Wednesday with her. Along with the pictures, the Times simply wrote, " Patriots' turnout for President Obama in 2015 vs.
  • Allardyce: We didn't let Arsenal play

    Allardyce: We didn't let Arsenal play

    They came here with the hope they'd win the game. "This is a manager who has managed the "Invincibles" and he is managing the invisibles".
    Singapore unveiled as Norwegian UK's first route

    Singapore unveiled as Norwegian UK's first route

    The route will be operated on the airline's 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which has 344 economy and premium seats. It will be operated by Norwegian's UK subsidiary called Norwegian UK (NUK), using Gatwick-based crew.

    'We Have a Lot of Work' to Do

    Stephens ordered a 20-piece McNuggets meal and a large order of fries, but employees held his fries while they alerted police. And just as brazenly, in a 2nd video uploaded to Facebook (above), Stephens called his crime the "Easter Sunday massacre".
  • U.S.  serial killer fatally shoots himself after brief pursuit

    U.S. serial killer fatally shoots himself after brief pursuit

    In several posts, he claimed to have killed as many as a dozen people, but police have not found evidence to support that claim. The family of a 74-year-old man who was shot and killed on Easter Sunday met with the killer's former girlfriend, CNN reports.
    Aaron Hernandez's family, medical examiner's office tussle over ex-NFL player's brain

    Aaron Hernandez's family, medical examiner's office tussle over ex-NFL player's brain

    Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.by a physician at the hospital. He was serving a life sentence for the 2013 shooting of his former friend Odin Lloyd , for which he was convicted in 2015.

    Rex Tillerson: U.S. Is Conducting 'Comprehensive Review' Of Iran Nuclear Deal

    Don't miss Andrea Mitchell fretting that if the USA backs out of the Iran deal, rogue states like North Korea won't trust us. Trump's Secretary of State said the Iran nuclear agreement "fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran ".

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.