Arkansas originally wanted to put eight inmates to death before the state’s supply of midazolam, one of three drugs used in its lethal injection process, expires at the end of April.
But at least one high court justice expressed serious reservations about what critics have called Arkansas’ rush to the death chamber.
McKesson Corp. says the state obtained the drug under false pretenses and that it wants nothing to do with executions.
Justices also denied an attempt by makers of midazolam and potassium chloride — the two other drugs in Arkansas’ execution plan — to intervene in McKesson’s fight over the vecuronium bromide.
Lee was arrested less than an hour after the killing after spending some of the $300 he had stolen from Reese.
As it stated in After a five-hour hearing Wednesday, Gray granted the drug supplier’s petition and barred the state from using the medication.
McKesson’s contract with the manufacturer barred sales when the drugs were going to be used in executions, the company stated.
The companies say Arkansas is likely planning to use their products in the executions.
The unintended consequence could be to undermine the supply and to place patients in Arkansas and across the country at risk,” Watson wrote.
The company moved over the weekend to withdraw its lawsuit after a federal judge stayed all of the state’s executions.
Arkansas justices clear stops on lethal drug
As it stated in This story, first published at 9:35 p.m., has been updated with Hutchinson’s reaction to the Arkansas Supreme Court stay.
“I am both surprised and disappointed at the last minute stay by the Arkansas Supreme Court,” Hutchinson said in a statement Wednesday night.
In one case, a state court halted an execution scheduled for Thursday night, while a state judge separately barred the use of a lethal injection drug, potentially blocking all of the planned executions.
A third execution scheduled for next week was previously halted by a federal judge.
In its order, the state Supreme Court narrowly blocked the execution of Stacey E. Johnson, 47, who has been on death row since 1994.
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