Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Arkansas carries out first execution since 2005

Kelvin Reese | 22 April, 2017, 02:15

Throughout it all, Lee maintained his innocence in the bludgeoning death of Reese, but a jury convicted him in 1995, and the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld that ruling in 1997. Deere said the state was reviewing its options. His execution originally was set for 7 p.m.

The Supreme Court denied the petitions.

The US state of Arkansas has carried out its first execution of an inmate in 12 years after the Supreme Court overturned a ruling banning the use of the lethal injection.

Ledell Lee was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. Thursday.

The lethal injection capped a chaotic week of legal wrangling that left the state scrambling to salvage any part of an aggressive schedule of eight executions before one of its drugs expires at the end of April. He was sentenced to death for the 1993 murder of 26-year-old Debra Reese, who was strangled and beaten to death in her own home.

Lee was arrested less than an hour after the killing after spending some of the $300 he had stolen from Reese.

After a hiatus of almost 12 years, the execution was carried out without any apparent glitches. Thursday, four minutes before his death warrant was due to expire.

He declined to make a final statement, officials said. "Justice was carried out". The U.S. Supreme Court then delayed the execution for 10 minutes and later, the appeals court halted it for another 45 minutes.

His execution was Arkansas' first since 2005. Three of the executions so far have been stayed by legal challenges.

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The McKesson Corporation, which supplied the drug, had accused the Arkansas Department of Correction of failing to say it planned to use the drug for executions.

"Arkansas's decision to rush through the execution of Mr".

The state's plan prompted an unprecedented flurry of legal filings that argued the process should be halted, citing problems with US death chamber protocols and lethal injection drug mixes. The order was requested by McKesson Medical-Surgical, Inc, which has accused the state of obtaining the drug, pancuronium bromide, under false pretenses. He said on Wednesday he was "both surprised and disappointed" by the delays.

After condemned inmates are given a sedative called midazolam, they receive injections of vecuronium bromide, which relaxes the respiratory system, and a third drug that stops their heart. The company said it would suffer harm financially and to its reputation if the executions were carried out. It then voted to allow the state to proceed with the execution. In text messages from Jenkins' phone, which came up at Wednesday's court hearing, there is no mention that the drug would be used in executions.

Her family "had waited 24 years to see justice done", Arkansas Attorney General Deborah Rutledge said in a statement.

Lawyers for the state have complained that the inmates are filing court papers just to run out the clock on Arkansas' midazolam supply. The Supreme Court, as well as a federal appeals court in St. Louis, issued temporary stays of execution while they considered his legal arguments. Justice Stephen Breyer said in a dissent he was troubled by Arkansas' push to execute the inmates before its supply of midazolam expires. He was the first to die of eight inmates who had been scheduled for executions over 11 days starting last Tuesday.

This story has been corrected to show that the inmate's name is Ledell Lee, not Lendell Lee.

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