April 24, 2017

Court Rulings Block 2 Scheduled Executions Today In Arkansas

21 April 2017, 02:08 | Darnell Patrick

Fox News Omits Key Facts Regarding Unprecedented Arkansas Death Penalty Cases

Arkansas inmates set to die Thursday claim innocence

"The Arkansas Supreme Court in 2004 unanimously rejected an identical argument brought by inmate Stacey Johnson, but today, by a vote of four to three, the court has without legal explanation blocked the execution of an individual sentenced by two different juries", Rutledge said. Arkansas officials are trying to carry out the executions before their supply of midazolam, one of the execution drugs used, expires at the end of April.

Grey sided with McKesson Corp., which had argued that it sold Arkansas the drug for medical use, not executions, and that it would suffer harm financially and to its reputation if the executions were carried out. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office said she would not appeal that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Arkansas' plans to execute two of seven death row inmates on Thursday got tripped up by courts that put a halt on the state's rush to end their lives when the expected lethal injections were blocked and that could mean that they will stay alive.

Arkansas officials have defended the schedule because they have no guarantee of obtaining new lethal-injection drugs amid an ongoing shortage, and they have to carry out the death sentences of eight men convicted of capital murder.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray's decision Wednesday throws into doubt, at least momentarily, whether Arkansas will be able to conduct its scheduled executions tonight.

The first two inmates scheduled for execution on Monday were spared — one of them by the U.S. Supreme Court minutes before his death warrant expired — and one of the two rulings on Wednesday could scuttle the entire schedule. Ledell Lee, scheduled for execution Thursday, saw his stay denied. (Potassium chloride is the third drug in the state's protocol.) The company claims the state purchased the vecuronium bromide under false pretenses.

Lee and Johnson are the only two inmates among the group of eight to consistently maintain their innocence.

It is likely that appeals Thursday will reach the U.S. Supreme Court and could stretch well into the night, as occurred Monday, when the justices released a late order that ultimately prevented the state's first attempt at an execution.

Russia's Assad stance dims hopes for U.S. thaw
Russian Federation has staunchly backed Assad's government throughout a civil war that has dragged into a seventh year. The Russian move amounted to a stark warning: Don't launch any more strikes or risk unpredictable consequences.

White House denies misleading public in armada push
Spicer said the USS Carl Vinson's "ultimate destination" was the Korean Peninsula and that "that's where it ended up". US President Donald Trump said last week he had ordered the strike group to head for Korean waters.

It's Over! Facebook Live Killer Steve Stephens Kills Self in Pennsylvania
Stephens, who had no prior criminal record, was not suspected in any other killings, Cleveland officials said. The murderer's mom, Maggie Green, said he'd tried to say goodbye in a visit one day before Godwin's slaying.

The executions of inmates Bruce Ward and Don Davis, which had been slated for Monday, were called off after court-ordered halts over mental competency issues.

"The execution set by Arkansas has not been attempted by any state in recent history, if ever", Jen Moreno, a staff attorney Berkeley Law's Death Penalty Clinic, told Vocativ Wednesday. As such, she granted the TRO - at the hearing on Wednesday and in a written order issued a little before noon Thursday.

Lawyers for Lee are also petitioning for a reprieve from the state's top court, which has yet to issue a ruling. "I know that this is disappointing and hard for Carol Heath's family and her two children who were home at the time of the murder".

In the drug case, a state prison official testified that he deliberately ordered the drug a year ago in a way that there wouldn't be a paper trail, relying on phone calls and text messages.

The court had indicated earlier this year that it might view the death penalty more favorably, ruling to allow Arkansas to keep many details of its lethal injection drugs secret.

Preparations will continue "pending the outcome of appeals at both the state and federal levels", Graves said.

Lawyers for the state have complained that the inmates are filing court papers just to run out the clock on Arkansas' midazolam supply. That organization told Vocativ on Thursday that it has "a separate stay request before the Arkansas Supreme Court which hasn't ruled yet".

Other News

Trending Now

FDA further restricts pain medication use in kids
Codeine and tramadol are opioid pain-relieves that also reduce coughing, usually along with acetaminophen or aspirin. In this case, the agency did act on prescription drugs but did not act on the over-the-counter recommendation.

U.S. accuses Iran of 'alarming provocations'
The International Atomic Energy Agency has on multiple occasions verified Iran's adherence to its commitments under the JCPOA. In the redesign, the heavy water reactor will be reconfigured so it can not yield fissile plutonium usable in a nuclear bomb.

Firefighter Plunges Several Floors While Battling Blaze In NYC
The New York Post reported the firefighter fell out of a ladder bucket while he was trying to extinguish the flames. De Blasio said he spoke to the 42-year-old's wife, Marie, his brother, Bobby, and his parents.

Champions League semi-finals: Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Monaco & Real Madrid await draw
Runners-up to Real Madrid past year , the Spaniards have beaten Juve once and held them to a draw on their previous two meetings. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon feels it may be in his side's interest to avoid facing Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.

United Will Not Fire Employees Over David Dao Incident
Other airlines have chose to increase their compensation offers for such passengers. Senate Commerce Committee to answer detailed questions about the incident.

Lawyer Says ME 'Illegally' Holding Aaron Hernandez's Brain
A lawyer who represents Lloyd's mother said she's moving forward with a wrongful-death lawsuit against Hernandez's estate. Some of Hernandez's final days played out in public when he was found not guilty of first-degree murder on Friday.

Oracle has acquired ad measurement firm Moat
Founded in 2010, Moat helps advertisers and publishers measure whether people see and interact with online ads. Moat's platform tracks browsing and viewing habits on desktop and mobile devices, and even connected TVs.

BJP will form government in Odisha in 2019: Naidu
The BJP national president said he would spend three days in Kerala as part of the organisational expansion drive. The Prime Minister did talk about social justice and how our Muslim sisters should also get justice.

Pro-pot activists plan to hand out joints outside Capitol
Shortly after they began, Capitol Police arrested two of the demonstrators and warned the rest not to block the sidewalk. Thursday's official marijuana holiday, dubbed 420 by enthusiasts, is reaching new highs (get it?) this year.

US scraps price regulation on data services
The FCC grandfathered in existing station groups that exceeded the cap but said the exception could not be transfered in a sale. Clyburn called the FCC's move on Thursday a "huge gift for large broadcasters with ambitious dreams of more consolidation".