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2 companies ask to join Arkansas execution case

21 April 2017, 06:19 | Winston Chapman

An Arkansas judge has blocked the state from using a lethal injection after a drug company argued it was misled by the state about the use of the drug, potentially halting the state's plan to put several men to death by the end of the month.

A spokesman for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said Tuesday that the state will make its arguments in the cases involving Davis and Ward before the state Supreme Court but will follow the current briefing schedule that the court has set, with deadlines into late May.

"Arkansas' decision to rush through the execution of Mr".

It takes five votes to get most things done at the court, including imposing or lifting a stay of execution. A third man has received a stay from a federal judge over issues with his clemency schedule.

Arkansas' attempt to carry out its first executions in almost 12 years has been thwarted by a state Supreme Court that's been the focus of campaigns by conservative groups to reshape the judiciary.

J.R. Davis, a spokesman for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, speaks.

A group of Arkansas inmates is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block upcoming executions in the state, citing concerns with one of the lethal injection drugs.

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The Arkansas Supreme Court is allowing the state to use a lethal injection drug in upcoming executions, despite a supplier's complaint that it was sold to the state to be used only for inmates' medical care.

Justices also denied an attempt by makers of midazolam and potassium chloride - the two other drugs in Arkansas' execution plan - to intervene in McKesson's fight over the vecuronium bromide.

Representatives from the attorney general's office were at the state Supreme Court on Thursday hoping justices would overturn a decision by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray that halted the use of vecuronium bromide in any execution. One of them was a 5-4 decision in which new Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with the four other conservative justices in denying the motion, while the court's liberals dissented.

Lawyers for Lee, who had spent more than 20 years on death row, had filed numerous motions in various courts ahead of the lethal injection that had put the process on hold. A stay remains in place for one of the inmates on an unrelated issue.

The state filed an amended plan Monday that grants attorneys for the inmates more phone access while on prison grounds. Reese was found dead in her home in Jacksonville, Arkansas, where she had been strangled and beaten with a small wooden bat her husband gave her for protection.

McKesson Medical Surgical Inc. argued its vecuronium bromide was intended only for medical purposes, not executions, and that the Arkansas Department of Corrections "misled" the company when it purchased the drug, according to a court brief. In text messages from Jenkins' phone, which came up at a court hearing Wednesday, there is no mention that the drug would be used in executions.

Even if Arkansas wins reversals at the state level, the eight inmates who were scheduled to be put to death this month have three requests for reprieves at the U.S. Supreme Court. A court official informally known as the death clerk keeps everyone up to date and communicates often with lawyers for inmates and the states as the date of execution nears. Four of the eight have been granted stays of execution.



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