Supreme Court denies Arkansas execution


There are also two executions scheduled for April 24 and one scheduled for April 27.

The justices often split on death penalty issues, with the conservative justices more willing to allow an execution to take place and the liberal justices more inclined to side with inmates. "I'm not trying to make light of it, but if you can do it right once, why can't you do it twice the same day?" Both men were convicted of murders in 1993, and both maintain their innocence after more than two decades on death row.

In her order, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker flagged two issues: the use of the midazolam and inmates' access to their attorneys on the days of their executions. In fact, it was his second "last meal", the first coming in 2010 before his execution was stayed at the last minute.

Lawyers for Davis had argued his case should be stayed pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision in another case on whether indigent defendants with mental health issues are entitled to expert witnesses to help them prepare their cases, according to the New York Times. As a presidential candidate and Arkansas governor in 1992, Bill Clinton left the campaign trail to preside over an execution.

April 18 US drug wholesaler McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc sued Arkansas a second time on Tuesday, saying the state acted fraudulently in obtaining a drug it intends to administer in a record number of executions this month and demanding it not use the batch to kill people.

McKesson Drug Company filed a new lawsuit Tuesday over the drugs planned to be used in the upcoming executions.

On Friday, Griffen granted a restraining order preventing Arkansas from using its supply of vecuronium bromide, one of three drugs it uses in executions, because the pharmaceutical company said the state misleadingly obtained the drug. A federal judge later denied a reprieve for Johnson, who asserted his obesity and other medical conditions posed the likelihood that death by lethal injection would subject him to unconstitutional pain and suffering. Both inmates wanted stays of execution. The last drug, potassium chloride, stops the heart, and has been described as causing a feeling of fire in an inmate's veins.

(Arkansas Department of Correction via AP). Capital punishment in several states was stymied by problems with lethal-injection drugs and legal questions over their protocols. Texas conducted the last successful dual executions in the United States in 2000.

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"I've got to think everybody is dotting their i's and crossing their t's", he said.

There are still five Arkansas executions scheduled before the end of April; a state parole board voted to recommend one of the original eight death row inmates, Jason McGehee, for clemency.

Virginia electrocuted four inmates February 2, 1951, and three more three days later.

That same year in NY, a couple known as the Lonely Hearts Killers were electrocuted back to back March 7, 1951.

Neither of the men were put to death.

McKesson alleges that it filled the state's order for the drug under the notion that ADC would use it for "legitimate medical goal, consistent with Arkansas State Medical Board Regulations", which state in part that licensed physicians can not administer unsafe or controlled drugs to someone for a reason other than a legitimate medical objective.

The Arkansas Supreme Court, however, vacated that stay and also removed Griffen from all cases tied to the death penalty after Griffen participated in a protest against capital punishment outside the Arkansas governor's mnsion.

Arkansas and other states with the death penalty are being hit by the declining availability of lethal drugs in recent years. If taken by the country's highest court, the justices would have to give a more definitive answer about the controversial drug midazolam - the first drug in Arkansas's lethal injection cocktail.