Arkansas death row inmates seek Supreme Court relief

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Two Arkansas inmates set to die this week in a double execution filed more legal challenges Wednesday, but so far the pair is hitting roadblocks as a judge weighs a new attempt to prevent the state from using one of its lethal injection drugs in what would be the state's first executions in almost a dozen years.

In a 4-3 ruling, the court found that Stacey Johnson should be allowed to prove his innocence based on more DNA testing.

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. That would be the most in the United States in as short a period since the death penalty's reinstatement in 1976. The State of Arkansas also argued that granted this restraining order would essentially cause a stay of execution, which the state said Judge Gray didn't have the authority to do.

The execution of a third inmate, Jason McGehee, had been set for April 27, but a federal judge put it on hold earlier this month, saying McGehee was entitled to a 30-day comment period after the Arkansas Parole Board told the governor that the inmate's clemency request had merit.

A deputy director of the Arkansas prison system says he deliberately ordered an execution drug in a way so there wouldn't be a paper trail.

McKesson Medical-Surgical - a pharmaceutical supply company - claims that the Arkansas Department of Corrections duped them into providing 100 vials of the second drug in the lethal injection protocol, vecuronium bromide, believing they were providing it for medicinal reasons. The company sued to stop Arkansas from using the drug in the planned lethal injections, and a hearing over that issue was underway in Little Rock on Wednesday afternoon. 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.

Rosenzweig also represents two other inmates scheduled to die this month - Jack Jones and Kenneth Williams. But the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that order Monday, and the inmates appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. McGuire's execution lasted 25 minutes, the longest in Ohio's history, and witnesses said he "gasped several times throughout" before dying. The attorney for Davis and Ward requested stays of execution until the US Supreme Court rules on an upcoming case concerning defendant access to independent mental health experts. On Tuesday, a state judge denied the DNA test for Lee.

Johnson was convicted in Arkansas of the 1993 murder and sexual assault of Carol Heath.

It was unclear whether 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. But courts have blocked three of those executions from going forward. "It is inconceivable that this court, with the facts and the law well established, stays these executions over speculation that the (U.S.) Supreme Court might change the law". The state and its lawyers say the inmates are seeking any legal approach they can find to avoid death.

On the April 18 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, host Jon Scott opened a panel discussion by asking, "The reasoning for this holdup has nothing to do with the lethal injection drugs that are currently in question, right?"

Recommended News

  • OH  suspect located dead in Erie, Pa.

    OH suspect located dead in Erie, Pa.

    The chase lasted 2 miles before Stephens shot himself in the head after the vehicle spun and came to a stop, police said. Williams added that police "wanted to bring him in safely" so they could talk to him to try to understand his motives.
    SC revokes criminal complaint against Dhoni over depiction of Lord Vishnu

    SC revokes criminal complaint against Dhoni over depiction of Lord Vishnu

    It had also said the trial court in Karnataka did not follow the due procedure in summoning the cricketer and others in the case. Dhoni is now busy with the Rising Pune Supergiant team in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League.
    Blackstone's Profit More Than Doubles on Record Asset Sales

    Blackstone's Profit More Than Doubles on Record Asset Sales

    The current share price indicates that stock is -4.05% away from its one year high and is moving 40.11% ahead of its 52-week low. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 161,556 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,963,000.32.
  • U.S.  crude oil stocks drop

    U.S. crude oil stocks drop

    Stockpiles expanded to 535.5 million barrels at the end of March, the highest in weekly data compiled by Bloomberg since 1982. Oil prices extended losses Wednesday as official data showed the first weekly climb in US gasoline supplies in two months.
    VP Pence's message to North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'

    VP Pence's message to North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'

    While tensions continue on the Korean peninsula, two US allies are cooperating on a regional dispute of a very different kind. The UK has sent more than £4 million in foreign aid to North Korea over the past six years, it has emerged.

    European Union says Brexit negotiations will start after British election

    Sentiments shared by many British people today! "The other thing that really resonates with me is the timing is very important". Montgomeryshire MP, Glyn Davies, said the Prime Minister had been left with "little choice" due to frustration over Brexit .
  • Babri Masjid case: Advani, Joshi meet after SC orders trial against them

    Babri Masjid case: Advani, Joshi meet after SC orders trial against them

    Mar 6, 2017: SC indicates it may consider reviving conspiracy charge against the BJP leaders in Babri Masjid demolition case. The other named BJP leaders Advani, M M Joshi and others for allegedly giving "communal" speeches before demolition.
    Chaffetz may not finish final term in Congress

    Chaffetz may not finish final term in Congress

    Chaffetz said he has the full support of House Speaker Paul Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight Committee. He said that after more than 1,500 nights away from home, "it is time" to step aside. "I am healthy.

    Russia BLOCKS United Nations from condemning Syrian chemical attack

    President DonaldTrump (R) at a press conference at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States , on February 15, 2017. Combination of file photos show Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia , Dec. 29, 2016 and U.S.
  • United Airlines can't say if video has hit sales

    Now, the airline's CEO says no employees will be fired over the incident. " The buck stops here ". But he said the company had not considered sacking anybody over it.

    Oilers hope to find more offence in Game 4

    That would perhaps allow them to generate some momentum for Game 5. "He was great again", said McDavid after Edmonton's victory. At one point, Darnell Nurse laid out Timo Meier with a stick to his throat, but somehow escaped without a penalty.
    Theresa May and EU's Antonio Tajani discuss red lines for Brexit

    Theresa May and EU's Antonio Tajani discuss red lines for Brexit

    Hungary's foreign minister says a free-trade agreement between the European Union and Britain should be part of Britain's EU exit. The European Parliament will have to approve any deal agreed between Britain and the 27-member EU.

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.