Lawyers for the state of Arkansas have filed notice that they will appeal a lower court judge's temporary restraining order that halted eight planned executions scheduled to begin next week.
Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen on Tuesday denied the state's request to dissolve the stay. Griffen wrote that the request violated the Arkansas Rules for Civil Procedure that bars frivolous or warrantless filings. He gave the attorney general's office 14 days to respond.
The notice of appeal filed Tuesday says because Griffen scheduled a hearing for March 1 in the inmates' challenge to the state's execution secrecy law, the stay is actually "a long-term injunction in the guise of a restraining order."
The appeal had not been filed at the Arkansas Supreme Court as of early Tuesday afternoon.