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Conservatives stymied by latest Arkansas execution setback

Conservatives stymied by latest Arkansas execution setback

Makers of midazolam and potassium chloride - the two other drugs in Arkansas' execution plan - asked to file briefs with the state Supreme Court on Thursday.

"We've established that modern DNA testing methods can prove Mr. Johnson's innocence, and Arkansas law clearly established that Mr. Johnson is entitled to that testing", said Karen Thompson, a staff attorney with the Innocence Project, on Tuesday after the appeal was filed.

Stacey Johnson claims that advanced DNA techniques could show that he didn't kill Carol Heath, a 25-year-old mother of two, in 1993 at her southwest Arkansas apartment.

As of Wednesday evening, Ledell Lee is still scheduled to be executed Thursday.

McKesson had originally sued Arkansas last week in state court, but withdrew that action when a federal court on Saturday issued stays that temporarily halted the executions of the eight inmates. His execution, as well as Bruce Earl Ward's, never occurred due to stays put in place by the Arkansas Supreme Court. 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. Outside groups and the candidates spent more than $1.6 million a year ago on a pair of high court races that were among the most fiercely fought judicial campaigns in the state's history.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson had set an aggressive schedule of eight executions by the end of April, when the state's supply of midazolam, a key lethal injection drug, expires. The reporting on these drugs shows that all three drugs used in Arkansas' lethal injection cocktail are implicated in legal battles.

A judge in Pulaski County on Tuesday rejected the request for DNA testing from inmate Ledell Lee.

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They haven't been able to get the 90-days' notice to congress. "That will dictate how quickly negotiations go", said. On energy, the current NAFTA guarantees the US a fixed rate of Canada's oil production without any import fees.

Court decisions in recent weeks, both from the state and US Supreme Courts, had granted all eight inmates a temporary reprieve, but some were overturned. Since 2011, many European drug companies, in an alignment with the European Union's objection to death penalty, have made a decision to cease shipment of their drugs to USA prisons that carry out executions via lethal injections.

Rory Griffin testified Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by medical supply company McKesson Corp., which is asking a judge to not allow Arkansas to use its drug in executions.

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.

Rosenzweig also represents two other inmates scheduled to die this month - Jack Jones and Kenneth Williams.

The last time two executions were attempted in one night was in 2014 in Oklahoma, when prison staff bungled the first and the state called off the second one.

In a 4-3 ruling late Wednesday afternoon, the state's highest court issued a stay for Johnson and ordered a new hearing in lower court for Johnson to make his claims.

Arkansas plans to execute Lee and another inmate, Stacey Johnson, on Thursday night.


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