Arkansas Executions 2017

Jack Greene
Arkansas Department of Correction

Attorneys for an Arkansas inmate scheduled to be put to death in November have asked a judge to spare his life.

They say the execution would violate the Constitution because the inmate suffers from a psychotic disorder.

Attorneys for Jack Gordon Greene asked a Jefferson County judge late Wednesday to give Greene a hearing to determine whether he is incompetent to be executed.

Greene was convicted of killing Sidney Jethro Burnett in 1991 after Burnett and his wife accused Greene of arson.

Arkansas Death Chamber Lethal Injection
Arkansas Department of Correction

Arkansas' highest court has halted a judge's order requiring the state to release the labels and package inserts for an execution drug it plans to use in putting an inmate to death in November.

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday granted an emergency stay of a Pulaski County judge's ruling requiring officials to release the materials related to its supply of midazolam, one of three drugs used in Arkansas' lethal injection process. An attorney sued the state after officials wouldn't release the labels and package inserts.

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.