Arkansans on death row have filed a lawsuit arguing the state’s 10-day timetable to execute eight inmates, with a controversial drug, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. The motion for a preliminary injunction, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, asks for a stay in executions until the lawsuit is resolved.
The complaint states four sets of double executions in 10 days - in addition to being unprecedented over the last 50 years nationwide - will lead to rushed and botched executions. It also objects to limitations to attorney representation; shortcomings of the drug midazolam; the inexperience of staff in conducting an execution; and the lack of a backup plan if something goes wrong.
A spokeswoman for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) told the Associated Press that the lawsuit is being reviewed and that the AG will "continue to defend Arkansas' method of execution."