FEATURED POST

Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

Image
In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Arkansas says it has no source for drug if inmates delay executions

Arkansas' Death Chamber
Arkansas' Death Chamber
LITTLE ROCK — Lawyers for the state of Arkansas are telling a federal court that delaying eight executions beyond April 30 would have the same effect as canceling them altogether.

Arkansas recently replaced an outdated potassium chloride supply, but in court papers Monday said it has no source for midazolam after its current stock expires at the end of the month.

To meet the deadline, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has scheduled eight executions in an 11-day period beginning April 17. No state has executed that many people in so short a time since the U.S. Supreme Court reauthorized the death penalty in 1976.

Arkansas has not executed a prisoner since 2005 because of legal challenges and drug shortages.

The inmates say the state is denying them sufficient time to bring meaningful clemency requests.

Ahead of the scheduled executions, Hutchinson on Monday said he continues to review legal briefs for the inmates.

“I’m taking those one at a time to make sure that each gets the individual attention that is appropriate,” the governor told reporters.

Hutchinson said it is also important to “balance the conversation,” taking into consideration the victims of the crimes.

When asked whether clemency is still possible for any of the eight death-row inmates, the governor said he will look through recommendations and will make a decision at a later date.

“These cases have all been through over 10 to 15 years of review in the courts. There’s not really any question of guilt in these cases,” Hutchinson said. “The significance and horrendous nature of the crimes are the reasons that jury gave that penalty.”

The inmates — Bruce Ward, Don Davis, Ledell Lee, Marcel Williams, Kenneth Williams, Stacey Johnson, Jack Jones and Jason McGehee — are set to die over a span starting April 17 and ending April 27.

Sources: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, The Associated Press, April 3, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 30 Days)

Harris County leads Texas in life without parole sentences as death penalty recedes

Idaho County commissioners take stand against death penalty

Texas: Reginald Blanton executed

30-year-old Chinese inmate bids farewell to daughter, wife and mother before execution

USA: Executions, Death Sentences Up Slightly in 2017

Indonesian death penalty laws to be softened to allow reformed prisoners to avoid execution

Japan hangs 2 inmates; first executions since July

Death penalty cases of 2017 featured botched executions, claims of innocence, 'flawed' evidence

Virginia Governor commutes death sentence of killer found mentally incompetent to be executed

5 worrying things we’ve learned from new Saudi execution numbers