Supreme court blocks Arkansas from flurry of executions
The Supreme Court late Monday blocked the first of at least six executions planned in Arkansas over the next two weeks after a dizzying day of state and federal court disputes about lethal injection drugs, mental health claims and the right to legal representation.
The US supreme court has put an end over Arkansas’ unprecedented plan to execute eight prisoners in 11 days. The judge declined to allow the state to go ahead with Monday night’s scheduled killings in what amounted to a major victory for the condemned inmates’ lawyers and anti-death penalty campaigners.
The ruling brought to three the number of condemned prisoners who have now been spared the execution schedule set by Republican governor Asa Hutchinson in a rush to use a batch of the lethal injection drug midazolam before it expires at the end of the month, reported The Guardian.
Arkansas and death-row inmates have waged multiple legal battles over whether the state’s planned wave of lethal injections will take place as planned. The fights have centered on an unprecedented flurry of executions that have pushed Arkansas to the forefront of the American death penalty at a time when states are increasingly retreating from the practice.