The Latest: New lawsuit filed over Arkansas executions

AP News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2017 4:42 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on developments regarding Arkansas' plans to execute eight inmates over a 10-day period next month (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

Five of the eight Arkansas inmates facing lethal injection next month have filed a new lawsuit aimed at blocking the state's unprecedented plan to conduct four double executions over a 10-day period.

The inmates asked a federal judge Tuesday to order the state to halt the executions, arguing that the compressed time frame has led to a rushed clemency process. The five inmates have asked the parole board to spare their lives.

The board on Monday recommended Gov. Asa Hutchinson reject clemency pleas from two of the inmates and is weighing the request from a third. The board plans hearings Friday on two other death row inmates.

The ultimate decision on whether to spare the men's lives rests with Hutchinson, who scheduled the multiple executions last month.

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1:20 p.m.

An Arkansas judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state's lethal injection law, the latest setback for efforts to block the state's unprecedented plan to conduct four double executions over a 10-day period next month.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen granted the state's motion Tuesday to dismiss the lawsuit filed by eight inmates facing lethal injection next month. Griffen said he has no jurisdiction over the case after the state Supreme Court upheld the lethal injection law and protocol.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson last month scheduled the executions to begin before the state's supply of midazolam, a controversial sedative used in the state's three-drug protocol, expires. Arkansas has not executed an inmate since 2005.

The inmates filed a federal lawsuit Monday aimed at halting the executions.