Supreme Court Rejcts Arkansas Request to Lift Stay on Execution

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the State of Arkansas to lift the stay of execution on Don Davis, an inmate scheduled to be executed Monday night. (It conceded the stay as to a second defendant, Bruce Ward.)

Arkansas scheduled 8 executions for 11 days in April because it's running short on Midazolam, one of the execution drugs.

Arkansas has not executed anyone in 12 years, but Gov. Asa Hutchinson is chomping at the bit:

In a statement, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he's disappointed after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to lift a stay. The Republican governor says he was heartened by other court rulings Monday that could pave the way for Arkansas to execute several more inmates before the end of April.

The Arkansas Gazette has more here.

Warrants authorizing the use of the state’s three-drug protocol, which includes the controversial anesthetic midazolam, expired at midnight for Davis and Ward.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge called the Supreme Court's decision "heartbreaking."

The drugs aren't the only issue. Davis and Wards' lawyers say they requested the stay to preserve issues related to their clients' mental states :

"Mr. Ward and Mr. Davis were denied access to independent mental health experts, even though they clearly demonstrated that mental health issues would be significant factors at their trials," he said.

Braden said Ward is schizophrenic and Davis has organic brain damage and is intellectually disabled. The federal defender had asked for the stays while the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to take up a separate case involving the rights of a defendant to have access to independent mental health experts. That case, McWilliams v. Dunn, is scheduled for oral arguments on April 24.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Leslie Rutledge is heartbroken (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 18, 2017 at 11:16:12 PM EST
    maybe at some future date, the state can make it up to her by giving her some blood to take home with her.

    Now all of the executions are on hold by TRO (none / 0) (#2)
    by lawyerjim on Wed Apr 19, 2017 at 08:00:45 PM EST
    By Pulaski County Judge Alice Gray based on on a complaint filed Tuesday by drugmaker McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc. seeking the restraining order "to prevent the use of our product for something other than a legitimate medical purpose.".  

    I clerked for her while in law school.  

    thursday 20th update (none / 0) (#3)
    by linea on Thu Apr 20, 2017 at 09:35:22 PM EST
    The US Supreme Court has denied petitions to halt the execution of an Arkansas inmate, allowing the state to proceed with its first execution in 12 years after its top court approved the use of a drug in its lethal injection mix.

    The state is preparing to execute Ledell Lee at its Cummins Unit in Grady, which houses the state's death chamber, but it is still possible that the killing will be blocked.

    The US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St Louis, which is considering a last-minute request from Lee for DNA testing, has issued a stay until 9:15pm on Thursday (01:15 GMT Friday).

    The death warrant for Lee expires at midnight

    Lee was convicted and sentenced to death for beating Debra Reese to death with a tire iron in 1993.