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Arkansas nears first executions in 12 years after court decisions

April 21, 2017 By Steve Barnes LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions to halt the execution of an Arkansas murderer, allowing the state to proceed with its first execution in 12 years on Thursday after Arkansas’ top court approved the use of a drug in its lethal injection mix. The state is set to execute Ledell Lee at its Cummins Unit in Grady, which houses the state’s death chamber. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, which is considering a…

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Arkansas Supreme Court stays one execution, state court delays another

April 20, 2017 By Steve Barnes LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) – The Arkansas Supreme Court late on Wednesday stayed the execution of Stacey Johnson, one of two inmates due to die on Thursday, and returned his case to the trial court for reconsideration of potential DNA evidence, handing the state another obstacle as it tried to execute eight prisoners in 10 days. Minutes later a state circuit judge granted a temporary restraining order barring the state from using one of three drugs employed in its execution protocol. The order was…

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