Judge Hears Arguments Over Arkansas Lethal Injection Law

Oct 7, 2015

Attorneys for the inmates argue against a dismissal of the suit.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

An Arkansas judge says he will rule by early next week on a request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by death row inmates seeking to stop eight executions scheduled to begin Oct. 21. 

Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen heard arguments Wednesday in a motion from the state to dismiss the lawsuit.

Joshua Lee, an attorney for the inmates, says the state's secrecy law regarding the source of its execution drugs prohibited the inmates from making a complete argument that the state's protocol could lead to cruel and unusual punishment.

The inmates' attorneys have said the law is unconstitutional. Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Merritt argued that the inmates' attorneys had not presented sufficient facts that alternative methods of execution are available to the state or that the law is unconstitutional.