The Latest: Lawsuit challenges Arkansas execution secrecy

AP News
Posted: Mar 24, 2017 3:53 PM
The Latest: Lawsuit challenges Arkansas execution secrecy

VARNER, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on Arkansas' efforts to conduct four double-executions next month (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

A lawsuit contends Arkansas is violating the state's open records law and its own execution policy by refusing to release documents proving they obtained lethal drugs from legitimate sources ahead of four double-executions set for next month.

Steven Shults says he can no longer receive product labels from the Arkansas Department of Correction. The agency used to release the material, but said it will no longer do so after The Associated Press used the label's distinct typography to unmask the manufacturers in 2015.

Heather Zachary, a lawyer for Shults, that with Arkansas' history of once acquiring drugs from a company located in the back of a London driving school, it's important for the state to reveal its sources. The prison department says the drugs were manufactured and are FDA-approved.


11:34 a.m.

Two Arkansas inmates scheduled for lethal injections next month are asking the parole board to spare their lives, a longshot effort to halt an unprecedented plan to execute eight prisoners in a 10-day period.

Stacey Johnson and a lawyer for Ledell Lee appeared for the board Friday, asking it to recommend that Gov. Asa Hutchinson commute their sentences. Such efforts typically fail. Of the 27 people executed in Arkansas since 1990, 20 had clemency requests rejected and the others didn't apply. Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted one man's sentence on his own after a reluctant juror stepped forward.

Johnson and Lee are set to die April 20. Other double executions are set for April 17, 24 and 27.

The board will hear later Friday from relatives of the men's victims.