2 inmates seek execution stays from Arkansas high court

"Arkansas is known across the world for the Little Rock Nine and all of that atrocity", said the coalition's execution director, Furonda Brasfield, referring to the 1957 desegregation battle in Little Rock involving nine black students.

The remaining seven men are scheduled to be executed between April 17 to 27. Once the current supply of midazolam expires it will be extremely hard to replace because of concerns about its role in recent "botched" executions.

Asa Hutchinson prepares for a TV station interview at. "Because neither Arkansas decision-makers nor defense counsel now have adequate time to ensure that these executions are carried out with due process of law, we simply ask that you modify the current execution schedule to allow for adequate time between executions".

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchingson's administrations scheduled the unrelenting pace of the multiple executions using the explanation that one of its lethal injection drugs, midazolam, will expire at the end of the month and it was not evident when the state could expect a replenishment of the hard to come by drug.

Davis and Ward's state court filing stated, 'To execute Don Davis or Bruce Ward before that question is answered would deeply offend "the integrity of the judicial process". "Pharmaceuticals obtained in this manner are at risk of adulteration or chemical change due to improper handling such as failure to maintain proper temperature levels during storage and transport".

"We can only conclude Arkansas may have acquired this product from an unauthorised seller", a Fresenius Kabi spokesperson said.


Both companies said they've put strict controls on their supplies to ensure the drugs aren't used in capital punishment. The third drug that Arkansas intends to use for the execution, vecuronium bromide, appears to have been made by Hospira, a subsidiary of Pfizer. Pfizer has objected to the use of its drugs in lethal injections and has put controls in place to prevent them from being used in executions.

U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker is expected to rule Friday in the inmates' request to halt the executions.

The US state of Arkansas plans to execute seven men now on death row in a 10-day span before the end of the month, in a flurry of state-sanctioned killings unseen in the modern history of the US death penalty. These botched executions saw inmates gasping for breath, snorting, writhing, convulsing, and otherwise showing that they were conscious and in excruciating pain-one of these executions dragged on for nearly two hours.

While Arkansas lawyers have said that the drug has been successfully used in other states and that its injection protocols fall within constitutional guidelines, medical experts have said that the drug is not even suitable as a surgical anesthetic, reports Reuters.

Prison officials plan to hold two executions a night from Monday, followed by a final one on Thursday.

"From my standpoint, I have two convictions", he said "One, that I think death penalty is an appropriate punishment in the most serious and heinous crimes in our society".


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