Arkansas Executions 2017

Arkansas Death Chamber Lethal Injection
Arkansas Department of Correction

An Arkansas judge says prison officials must release the package label from a recently acquired lethal injection drug, saying manufacturers don't enjoy the same secrecy as others under the state's execution procedures.

Lawyer Steven Shults says Arkansas' Freedom of Information law requires disclosure. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce on Tuesday rejected the state's argument that privacy granted to drug sellers and suppliers in Arkansas' execution law also extends to manufacturers.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has granted clemency for death row inmate Jason McGehee.  The the 21-year-old man was found guilty of murdering teenager John Melbourne, Jr. in 1996. He'll now serve life without parole, the same sentence as two accomplices. The governor explained his decision.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has set an execution date for Jack Greene for November 9th. He was found guilty in the 1991 murder of Sidney Burnett. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge requested on August 17th that Hutchinson set a date.

It followed state confirmation earlier this month that a new supply of midazolam had been secured for the three-drug lethal injection procedure. Arkansas law allows the state to keep its source of drugs a state secret.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An attorney for an Arkansas death row inmate is asking Gov. Asa Hutchinson to deny Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s request to set a date for his execution. Jack Gordon Greene was sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of Sidney Jethro Burnett at his home in Johnson County.

Greene’s court-appointed attorney is John C. Williams with the office of the Federal Public Defender. He argues that Greene’s declining mental state could render his execution unconstitutional.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today has asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson to set the next execution, this after the state made international news for scheduling eight executions in 11 days in April in order to make use of a lethal injection drug set to expire May 1.

Arkansas's three-drug execution protocol calls for midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride, in that order. The state's supply of midazolam expired May 1. The state doesn't have any alternative protocol to execute anyone sentenced to death. 

Arkansas Death Chamber Lethal Injection
Arkansas Department of Correction

Arkansas is appealing a judge's decision to allow a medical supply company's attempt to prevent the state from using one of its execution drugs to move forward.

The state on Friday filed a notice that it is appealing Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray's order denying the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit by McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc. McKesson is seeking an order preventing the state from using its supply of vecuronium bromide, one of three drugs used in Arkansas' lethal injection process.

A medical supply company's challenge to Arkansas' three-drug execution protocol remains alive, though the state doesn't have enough drugs to put any inmate to death.

The state's lawyers went to court Wednesday to argue that Arkansas was immune to a lawsuit by McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc. They said lawsuits against the state aren't valid unless Arkansas is committing egregious acts.

Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Attorneys from Mississippi and Arkansas have been named by a judicial ethics panel as special counsel to handle cases related to a judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration after he blocked the state from using an execution drug.

Kenneth Williams
Arkansas Department of Correction

Arkansas officials are dropping their effort to block a request for the records related to the autopsy of an inmate who lurched and convulsed 20 times during his execution.

The state Crime Lab on Tuesday filed a motion to withdraw its request to quash the subpoena issued by public defenders who are challenging the state's execution procedures and want records related to Kenneth Williams' death. Williams was executed on April 27.

Kenneth Williams
Arkansas Department of Correction

Arkansas officials are asking a federal judge to block an effort to subpoena records related to the autopsy of an inmate who lurched and convulsed 20 times during his execution.

Kenneth Williams was put to death by lethal injection April 27.

The Arkansas State Crime Lab on Friday asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to quash the subpoena public defenders challenging the state's execution procedures had issued for detailed records related to Williams' death.

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