If everything goes as the State of Arkansas has planned, there will be as many as eight executions in the state in the next eight days. There is no denying that despite the United States topping the world when it comes to judicial executions, it is going to create a record as eight executions will be carried out in just seven days.
The way the State of Arkansas is hurrying to execute eight inmates seems rather strange. A CBS report claims that the state is doing it in such hurried ways because of the fact that a drug it uses to administer lethal injections is set to expire. The state had planned to carried out the eight executions before the month of April, but couldn’t do due to judicial interference.
An NBCNews report while talking about it says that the State of Arkansas “had earlier planned to execute eight inmates …before Arkansas’ supply of the drug runs out at the end of the month”. The executions had to begin on April 17 and end on April 28, three days before the end of the month. But thankfully, it couldn’t do that.
Now there is further delay to the State of Arkansas plan to execute eight people. In an order that will be cheered by many, the state Supreme Court has reportedly blocked one inmate’s execution scheduled for Thursday, and a Pulaski County Circuit Court judge ruled that Arkansas is not allowed to use one of its lethal injection drugs — the paralytic vecuronium bromide — effectively blocking all of the scheduled executions.
It must be kept in mind that all the eight executions in question were cleared by the Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. In fact he had signed eight death warrants for dates between April 17 and 27. Now with the twin orders by the two courts, the remaining five executions in jeopardy — which is sure to please the many activists that have protested the state’s tenacity.
Meanwhile a drug that is used for executions by the state has also become out of bounds for the state. Pharmaceutical company McKesson Medical-Surgical convinced a Pulaski County Circuit Court judge to rule in its favor on Wednesday for the second time in less than a week. The decision blocks Arkansas’ ability to use one of its key drugs in the state’s lethal injection protocol. The company said that Arkansas Department of Correction fooled it into providing 100 vials of the second drug, vecuronium bromide, for execution purpose. The company said that it was made to believe that the injection will be usedfor medical purpose. “Irreparable harm will result,” Judge Alice Gray ruled from the bench, according to the Associated Press. “Harm that could not be addressed by [monetary] damages.” A written opinion from the Pulaski County Circuit judge is expected Thursday morning.
Stacey Johnson one of the inmates had been a stay on his execution yesterday when he was set to be executed. Reports suggest that he sought DNA testing to prove his innocence.” He is reportedly on death row in the murder of a young mother named Carol Heath, “who was beaten and had her throat slit in her flat in 1993” while her children were in the home, reports BBC.
Ledell Lee’s execution was planned for today, April 20, but the McKesson decision has halted his execution too. Lee has been claiming innocence all along. He was convicted in the murder of Debra Reese who was allegedly raped and murdered in her home in 1993 at age 26. Now Lee wants new DNA testing in the case.
Bruce Ward is another inmate who is set to face the noose or the drug. He has been convicted of killing Rebecca Doss, an 18-year-old clerk at the Jackpot Service Station in Little Rock. The girl was reportedly strangled to death.” A police officer had seen Ward walking out of the gas station, the filing said. The Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay so that Ward’s sanity could be evaluated, reports ArkTimes.com.
Another inmate who is awaiting execution is Don Davis. Reports suggest that the U.S. Supreme Court intervened to stop his execution. He was set to be executed for the 1990 death of Jane Daniel in Rogers, who was killed in her home when Davis broke in and shot her with a .44-caliber revolver he found there.”
Another inmate is Kenneth Williams who is expected to be executed. He has been found guilty for the 1998 killing of University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff cheerleader Dominique Hurd.
Jason Ferrell McGehee is another convict set for execution. He has been convicted for murder of 15-year old boy John Melbourne.
Jack Harold Jones Jr. is another convict who has been convicted of killing bookkeeper Mary Phillips in 1995 and trying to kill her daughter, Lacy. While mother died, her daughter who was only 11 –year old and who was left for dead survived.
Marcel Williams is the eight convict who is set for execution. He has confessed to killing a woman, Stacy Errickson, after raping her.