Arkansas endured two more mishaps in its extraordinary goal of conducting eight executions this month, with the state’s highest court giving a reprieve to a prisoner planned for execution Thursday and an area court saying the state cannot utilize one of its lethal injections in any executions.
While both of Wednesday’s decisions could be overturned, Arkansas now confronts the difficult task of executing any more prisoners before the end of April, when another of its medications used in the deed expires. The execution of one inmate, Ledell Lee, did take place at 11:56 p.m. Thursday, four minutes before his death warrant would have expired.
The state had initially set eight executions to take place over an 11-day period in April, which would have been the most cases carried out in such a short period since the U.S. Supreme Court restored capital punishment in 1976.
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