Arkansas was scheduled this past Monday to execute the first of eight men convicted of different murders, when the US Supreme Court refused to reverse the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision to stay the execution of Don Davis.
We cannot ignore that all eight men were convicted of heinous crimes. In 1992, Davis murdered 64-year-old Jane Daniels. He shot her in the back of her head during a home robbery. Nevertheless, there has been objections raised against this assembly line of scheduled executions in Arkansas.
Arkansas actions have aroused so much attention, because the state had scheduled 8 men to be executed over a three week period. Arkansas has not had an execution in the last ten years. Amnesty International called on Arkansas to urgently halt “the conveyor belt of death which it is about to set in motion.”
The government’s reason to rush their execution–the state’s supply of lethal injections expires before May first. There is a growing shortage of the drugs for the lethal cocktail injection. The state was trying to use its only remaining supply before the expiration date.
The prisoner’s lawyers and the manufacturers of the lethal drugs objected to the scheduled executions. All were concerned about Midazolam. This pain killer is injected into the prisoner to cause unconsciousness. However, the drug has failed in previous executions throughout the United States.
There are two other chemicals used in the execution process. Vecuronium Bromide is used because it is a paralytic.The third chemical is potassium chloride which is used to stop the heart. The drug company which manufactures Vecuronium Bromide alleged that the state indicated their purchase was for pain relief and not that it was being used for executions.
Even former executioners have joined the protest of the rushed executions alleging that the lethal injection cocktails were unreliable.
What happens next– is completely up to the Supreme Court of Arkansas and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of Prisonpath.com