The days are numbered for eight inmates in Arkansas after Governor Asa Hutchinson set the dates for their respective appointments with death. Even though the state lacks one of the three drugs needed for fatal injections, it is seeking to re-establish the death penalty after a nearly 12-year hiatus. 
 
Even while Hutchison, a Republican, has proclaimed the coming executions, the precise dates have not been announced. The eight inmates had exhausted their appeals, according to the state attorney general. Accordingly, there were no more legal obstacles to their executions. In a statement, Hutchinson declared, "This action is necessary to fulfill the requirement of the law, but it is also important to bring closure to the victims' families who have lived with the court appeals and uncertainty for a very long time."
 
Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States turned down a request from the inmates for a review of a state court’s ruling that upheld Arkansas' practice of lethal injection. On February 24, Arkansas’ Supreme Court lifted the stay on its ruling. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was thus allowed to request the dates with the executioners. 
 
Last month, Arkansas’ supply of one of three drugs used in lethal injections,potassium chloride, expired. The drug has not yet been replaced, but the state government claims that a new supply can be found. 
 
Late on February 24, the eight inmates filed an amended complaint in state court to forestall the executions. Arkansas, which gave birth to both Bill Clinton and mike Huckabee, has not executed an inmate since 2008.


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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