Arkansas Execution Drug Set To Expire While Appeals Proceed

Feb 28, 2018

One of the three drugs Arkansas uses in its death chamber is about to expire, and unless the state can find a new supply it won't be able to execute three men with 11th-hour appeals pending at the state Supreme Court.

Arkansas rushed to execute eight men over 11 days last year, before 160 vials of a sedative expired. Ultimately, Arkansas put four men to death over eight days last April.

The state's supply of vecuronium bromide expires Thursday. It stops the inmates' breathing while a third drug used stops their hearts.

The Arkansas Supreme Court in January heard arguments from lawyers from two men who had been set to die last year. Justices are awaiting additional briefs in a case involving a third inmate.