ARKANSAS (USA): SUPREME COURT HALTS THREE EXECUTIONS
June 23, 2011: The state Supreme Court today halted the executions of three inmates who are challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection in Arkansas.
The high court issued stays for the executions of Jason Farrell McGehee, who was scheduled to die July 26; Bruce Earl Ward, who was scheduled to die Aug. 16; and Marcel Wayne Williams, who was scheduled to die July 12.
The three men are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court alleging that a 2009 state law authorizing the director of the state Department of Correction to choose the drugs used for lethal injection amounts to an unconstitutional delegation of authority.
The Supreme Court today directed the circuit court to provide it with a status update on the case.
Arkansas has not executed anyone since 2005, in part because of legal challenges to the stateâs method of execution. Several other executions have been stayed because of court challenges.
âAs we have stated previously, we respect every decision issued by the Supreme Court but are troubled by the courtâs reasoning in these cases,â Aaron Sadler, a spokesman for Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, said today. (Sources: Arkansas News, 23/06/2011)