Arkansas Death Row Inmates Asking Federal Judge To Block Ten Day Execution Spree

Mar 27, 2017

Eastern District of Arkansas building in downtown Little Rock.

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."

Read the filing here.