Saturday, 15 April 2017

Judge moves to block Arkansas executions

A judge has blocked Arkansas from using one of three lethal injection drugs the U.S state planned to use in a series of executions next week. The BBC reports that Supreme Court of Arkansas has also granted an emergency stay of execution for one of two inmates scheduled to die on Monday. In an unprecedented move, the state had planned to put seven prisoners to death over an 11-day period. Lawyers said the state was acting unconstitutionally and recklessly. Pulaski County Circuit Judge, Wendell Griffen, issued a temporary restraining order on Friday barring the state from administering one of the drugs used in its lethal injection cocktail. The suppliers of the muscle relaxant, vecuronium bromide, argued that it had been sold to the prison system on the understanding it would be used solely for medical purposes. Separately, a stay of execution was granted in the case of Bruce Ward, who was convicted of strangling to death Rebecca Doss, a teenage shop clerk who worked in Little Rock. The executions in Arkansas had been arranged to take place before a batch of one of the drugs used by the state expires later this month. The move has drawn international attention and has been condemned by rights groups as an “assembly line” and a violation of the United States legal process.


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