Local

AR Supreme Court Grants Stay of Execution for Inmate Stacey Johnson

AR Supreme Court Grants Stay of Execution for Inmate Stacey Johnson

Arkansas' attempt to carry out its first execution in almost 12 years wasn't thwarted by the type of liberal activist judge Republicans regularly bemoan here, but instead by a state Supreme Court that's been the focus of expensive campaigns by conservative groups to reshape the judiciary.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has halted one of two executions set for Thursday, saying the condemned inmate should have a chance to prove his innocence with more DNA testing.

The Arkansas attorney general's office countered in a court filing Wednesday that the inmates' request was a last-minute effort to "manipulate the judicial process".

Lawyers for the state were asking courts to clear a path for a double execution scheduled for Thursday night. Since 2011, many European drug companies, in an alignment with the European Union's objection to death penalty, have chose to cease shipment of their drugs to US prisons that carry out executions via lethal injections. McKesson Corp. says the state obtained the drug under false pretenses and that it wants nothing to do with executions.

The state had earlier planned to execute eight inmates over 10 days starting April 17, before Arkansas' supply of the drug runs out at the end of the month. They say there is a public health risk if their drugs are diverted for use in executions, and that the state's possession of the drugs violates rules within their distribution networks.

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.

On Wednesday, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Alice Gray agreed with McKesson and issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) barring use of one of the lethal injection drugs, namely Vecuronium bromide. Arkansas Department of Correction Deputy Director Rory Griffin said he didn't keep records of the texts, but McKesson salesman Tim Jenkins did. The state can ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to reconsider its decision or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which on Monday opted not to vacate a separate stay involving inmate Don Davis. In text messages from Jenkins' phone, which came up at Wednesday's court hearing, there is no mention that the drug would be used in executions. McGuire's execution lasted 25 minutes, the longest in Ohio's history, and witnesses said he "gasped several times throughout" before dying.

Another justice objecting to the rulings, Rhonda Wood, wrote in a dissent that Wednesday's stay "gives uncertainty to any case ever truly being final in the Arkansas Supreme Court".

Arkansas plans to execute Lee and another inmate, Stacey Johnson, on Thursday night. On Tuesday, a state judge denied the DNA test for Lee.

It was unclear whether Rutledge would appeal the stay of execution for Johnson to the U.S. Supreme Court after the state lost an appeal to the high court on a case involving another inmate Monday night. "It is inconceivable that this court, with the facts and the law well established, stays these executions over speculation that the (U.S.) Supreme Court might change the law".

Pharmaceuticals companies and other suppliers have objected to their drugs being used in executions and have been trying to stop states from getting supplies for lethal injections. The reporting on these drugs shows that all three drugs used in Arkansas' lethal injection cocktail are implicated in legal battles.

It's unclear whether the new execution obstacles would have any political fallout for the court.


  • Theresa May: Early general election will strengthen Government's Brexit negotiating hand

    May could be forced to soften her vision of a "hard Brexit" stand if European Union backers do well in the election. Ms May, who has described herself as "not a showy politician", said she would rather talk directly to voters.

    'Temporary relief:' Arkansas blocks remaining executions

    Johnson was set for execution Thursday night along with inmate Ledell Lee, who is also seeking a stay in a separate case. Inmates can spend years, or even decades, appealing their convictions and death sentences in state and federal courts.

    Pacers, Bulls, Heat eye last 2 East berths

    In regard to improving this Brooklyn team, Atkinson emphasized, "I'm so focused on how we can get the guys on our roster better ". That's what happens when you play in a talented league", said Dwyane Wade , who had seven points and four assists for the Bulls.
  • Toll reaches almost four a day in BC's overdose crisis: coroner

    Fatal drug overdoses in Virginia continue to rise, driven by a surge in fentanyl and heroin use, preliminary state figures show. The BC Coroners Service has released new data on the presence of fentanyl in the province's street drugs.

    Barkindo says OPEC, non-OPEC committed to restore market stability

    In London, June Brent crude LCOM7, -0.84% on the ICE exchange also fell 53 cents, or 1%, to $55.36 a barrel. Kilduff also noted that USA daily production increased to 9.25 million barrels per day.

    Have full faith in judiciary: UP BJP on SC's Babri order

    As soon as the news broke, the people on Twitter went insane and said Advani's dream of becoming the President has been shattered. Bharti said she had no regrets over her "involvement" and that a Ram temple "would definitely be built" in the days ahead.
  • Sanders Doesn't Know if Jon Ossoff Is a Progressive

    Georgia's Sixth Congressional District has historically consistently elected Republican candidates. But Ossoff fell shy of the majority required to claim the seat, finishing with 48.6% of the vote.

    Video Shows What Happened Before Man Was Dragged From United Flight

    The compensation depends on various factors, and goes up to a maximum of $1,350, according to the Fly Rights published by the U.S. Two online petitions calling for Munoz to step down as CEO had more than 124,000 signatures combined by Wednesday afternoon.

    Investigation Continues Into Aaron Hernandez's Death

    He said everyone has the right to appeal and now that Hernandez is dead, it means he doesn't have a way of exercising that right. He said Hernandez "was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life".
  • International Monetary Fund forecasts growth of 6.5% for Vietnam in 2017

    Its UK growth forecast was significantly boosted from 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent this year, slowing to 1.5 percent in 2018. However, South Africa is projected to register a modest growth of 0.8%.

    Trump Certifies Iranian Compliance with Nuclear Deal Rather than "Tearing it Up"

    "I think the key is what comes next", one senior White House official familiar with the interagency review told the Free Beacon . When the interagency review is completed, the administration looks forward to working with Congress on this issue.

    Game 4 vs. Edmonton

    Already, Talbot, said, he had put the game out of his mind. "Just go through my process and let it go and be ready Thursday ". The rediscovery of the power play was a big change for the Sharks, who had gone 2-of-15 with the man advantage in the series.