Judge to consider Arkansas' plan to execute 7 in 11 days

A federal judge has blocked the execution of an inmate that Arkansas prison authorities planned to put to death alongside seven other convicts later this month

Williams was also supposed to have a partner in the death house, but Jason McGehee was granted a reprieve from execution this week.

"The hurried schedule has prompted unease from the state's Republican governor, lawsuits from the condemned inmates, and criticism from an array of former corrections officials nationwide".

State officials argue the attempt to halt the plan is little more than a move to push the executions back to May 1 or later, when the execution drug will have expired.

Finally, the American Bar Association is concerned by allegations by counsel that at least two of the prisoners scheduled for execution suffer from severe mental illness.

"It is uncertain as to whether another drug can be obtained", the Governor added. Soon, those pharmacies became unwilling to involve themselves in the execution controversy.

OH and Arizona, states that used Midazolam in a two-drug versus the three-drug combination, also experienced similar results.

Executions by lethal injection, however, are usually strangely sedate events. Yet despite its appearance as a sanitized and quasi-medical execution method, lethal injection is as barbaric as all the rest. While slight majorities of African-Americans and Democrats oppose the mass executions, the most noticeable variance across social groups is shown between men and women.

Several outlets, including the New York Times, have reported about the unusual scheduling of eight executions in ten days by the state of Arkansas (an execution schedule unprecedented in the history of the nation); and, the speculation that the pace of the executions was, "brought about by a looming expiration date for a drug used by the state for lethal injections".

Zivot said when he studied an autopsy of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett, the man had puncture wounds on his "arms, legs, neck, chest" where professionals had tried, and failed, to insert an IV. The drug did not render Lockett unconscious, and he writhed and groaned for over 40 minutes.

None of this has given pause to Hutchinson however.

Hutchinson said he is caught in a hard situation having to not only schedule the executions, but do so before the state's supply of the sedative midazolam runs out.

Even in Arkansas, the last execution was 12 years ago. Nor has it carried so many executions in such a short time.

Asa Hutchinson speaks to members of the press during a Q&A session in Little Rock, Ark. "It's not my choice", he recently said of the tight execution schedule. Alabama executed two men, and Florida and Missouri one man each, for a total of 20 men executed in 2016. She testified at Johnson's retrial three years later.

There's also the issue of the state not following a needed safeguard-the clemency process. There have been numerous cases of "botched" executions by lethal injection in the USA in recent years, with prisoners failing to die quickly or "quietly".

Beginning April 17 the state of Arkansas will execute eight men in the span of 10 days. Since 1989, the Innocence Project has exonerated 349 people-20 of which were on death row.

Botched executions and challenges to lethal injection protocol are just one part of this declining support.

Bishop Taylor recognized Hutchinson's duty to execute the state's laws, including that of the death penalty, but also reminded him that he is also subject to a "higher law, the divine law". A growing number of states have abolished the death penalty-19 as of 2017. A third jury imposed a death sentence in 1997.

The Eighth US Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Si-Fu William Frank Parker's death sentence and he was ultimately executed. Since joining in 2012, she has made key rulings on abortion and gay marriage, but this will be her first death penalty ruling. If Arkansas succeeds in its plan to carry out this gruesome series of executions, it will join states like Oklahoma and Texas that are fighting tooth and nail to maintain an outmoded and barbaric system.

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