State Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Lethal Injection Drug Secrecy

May 18, 2016

The Arkansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Thursday in a challenge to the state’s lethal injection secrecy law.

A group of eight inmates on death row argue state secrecy about lethal injection drug types violates their constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

The Associated Press reports the state may run out of time to execute inmates, regardless of the high court’s ruling, because one of its three execution drugs expires in June, paralytic vecuronium bromide. The state lacks an adequate quantity of the drugs to execute all eight inmates right away, and the supplier has said it won’t sell more to Arkansas.

The state’s Parole Board may also schedule clemency hearings before the executions which could cause added delay.

Arkansas hasn’t held an execution in over a decade due to legal challenges and problems accessing lethal injection drugs.