No Easter Break For Arkansas Attorney General


LITTLE ROCK, AR (Ben Caxton) — Lawyers for the Arkansas attorney general’s office got no rest this Easter weekend working to remove legal roadblocks to next week’s schedule executions. Originally eight death row inmates were scheduled to be put to death in a ten-day span. That number has dropped to six with one inmate’s sentence commuted to life in prison, and inmate Bruce Ward’s execution stayed on Friday after his lawyer challenged his mental competence. On Friday a judge who was captured earlier in the day protesting outside the Governor’s mansion made it back to his courtroom to issue an injunction against the executions. A pharmaceutical company sued to not have their drugs used to kill the inmates. And a US District Judge ordered a blanket ban on the executions citing concerns that one of the drugs could lead to a cruel death. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge made it clear the state was unwilling to concede. Over the weekend the pharmaceutical company has withdrawn its suit. The state had filed motions to dismiss the Arkansas judge’s injunction saying he should have recused himself after taking part in public demonstrations against the executions, and has file motions to dismiss the remaining block placed by the US District Court judge.


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