Supreme Court Blocks Arkansas From Flurry Of Executions

Ed Pilkington

The US supreme court has ended a dramatic day of legal tussles over Arkansas’ unprecedented plan to execute eight prisoners in 11 days, declining to allow the state to go ahead with Monday night’s scheduled killings in what amounted to a major victory for the condemned inmates’ lawyers and anti-death penalty campaigners.

The nation’s highest court took several hours to reach its decision, finally announcing at 11.50pm that it had declined to lift a stay on the execution of Don Davis, 54, imposed earlier in the day by the supreme court of Arkansas.

The ruling brought to three the number of condemned prisoners who have now been spared the audacious execution schedule set by Republican governor Asa Hutchinson in a rush to use a batch of the lethal injection drug midazolam before it expires at the end of the month.

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