Arkansas Executions 2017

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.

The Arkansas State Medical Board dropped a possible investigation Thursday into a Department of Correction-affiliated doctor’s role in obtaining a lethal injection drug.

The board was reviewing whether an ADC doctor might have used his license to help obtain a lethal injection drug from the McKesson Company.

McKesson sued the department in April, claiming a physician’s license on file had been used to purchase the drugs under false pretenses.

Board attorney Kevin O’Dwyer says the board ruled to drop the matter after finding no proof of the doctor’s involvement.

Varner Arkansas Department of Correction Cummins Prison
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Medical Board isn't pursuing an investigation into how drugs used to execute four inmates in April were obtained.

The panel's attorney said Thursday that he found no evidence that any doctors licensed by the state were involved.

Board attorney Kevin O'Dwyer says he didn't find any evidence of a violation of the state's medical practices act by a licensed doctor. That's because no doctor was involved in obtaining the drugs used in the state's first executions in nearly 12 years.

Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The top two officials for a judicial ethics panel are recusing themselves from investigations involving an Arkansas judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he issued an order that effectively blocked executions in the state.

The executive director and deputy director of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission on Tuesday stepped away from the cases involving Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who lay on a cot outside the governor's mansion last month after blocking the state from using a lethal injection drug.

An Arkansas judge is asking a disciplinary panel to dismiss a complaint concerning his participation in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he blocked executions.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen is calling the investigation an effort to punish him for exercising his First Amendment rights. In a filing Friday he said the demonstration didn't violate any judicial rules and was constitutionally protected.

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