Arkansas Set to Rush Through Eight Executions in 10 Days

The state of Arkansas is letting its blood thirst show: Governor Asa Hutchinson has taken the unprecedented step of approving the executions of eight death row inmates within a span of just ten days.

In response, thousands in the Care2 community have already signed this petition: Gov. Hutchinson: Do Not Execute Eight People in 10 Days. Arkansas should handle its executions with caution and proper attention, not rush through many of them as quickly as possible.

As it stands, eight men – Stacy Johnson, Marcel Williams, Kenneth Williams, Don Davis, Ledell Lee, Jason Mcgehee, Bruce Ward and Jack Jones – will be killed by the state in the latter half of April. Two executions are scheduled each day on April 17, 20, 24 and 27.

Honestly, it’s a perplexing decision from a state that has not put an inmate to death in 12 years. Ongoing legal challenges have prevented Arkansas from executing anyone in the interim, and now they’re making up for loss time, apparently.

So why are the lethal injections coming so rapidly? The explanation isn’t reassuring – Arkansas’ supply of midazolam, the drug combination that will be utilized in lethal injections officially expires on April 30. The consecutive executions are an attempt to beat that deadline since fewer companies are willing to make midazolam at this point.

There’s a reason for the reduction in production, though. In recent years, midazolam has been the culprit in multiple problematic lethal injections where the deaths have been much more painful for the prisoner than allowed by the Constitution. Drug companies don’t want to be liable for providing a product that doesn’t get the job done properly.

The fact that midazolam has been involved in botched executions makes Arkansas’ decision even more terrible. It seems like Arkansas might even be anticipating a botched lethal injection with these quick-fire executions. That way, if one of the early executions goes wrong, the remaining inmates’ lawyers won’t have the time necessary to appeal for a more humane form of execution.

That’s why the inmates are preemptively suing the state to put a stop to the mass execution plan in advance. Their lawyers argue that the plan to rush through the lethal injections lacks “justifiable rationale.”

This plan certainly defies the commonly accepted procedure all over the country. Even in states where executions happen more frequently, no state is willing to conduct multiple executions in a single day, and most will at least separate them by a couple of weeks to allow officials proper time to both mentally recuperate and verify that their lethal injection procedures are working smoothly.

Whether or not you agree with capital punishment in general, it’s pretty difficult to think Arkansas’ latest plan is a good idea. Executions should not be rushed – it takes the justice out of the justice system. Sign the petition to tell Governor Hutchinson to scrap this plan and handle subsequent lethal injections in a much more responsible manner.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

69 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Melania P
Melania Padillaabout a year ago

All rapers should be killed, other criminals jailed for life.

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Carl R
Carl Rabout a year ago

Thanks!!!!

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Janis K
Janis Kabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Karin Hauk
Karin Haukabout a year ago

why feeling sorry for these prisoners? there are reasons, the judge give them death penalty. if somebody raped or killed my child or any relative or friend, I would be glad, if this man is killed soon as possible! and any normal thinking person should think so too. this are men, that kill, rob and hurt people for fun, not just once or they would not get death penalty. they cost the working taxpayer lots of money every day! why feeling sorry for them now? did they feel sorry for their victim when they mistreated and killed them cruel? no! that gives them a kick and they do it again and again. people like this deserves death, and painful or not, these innocent victims sure had lots of pain and beeing scared, knowing that they will die now. why feeling sorry for a killer, but not thinking about what the victim was going through? for me, they could kill all their death penalty prisoners in 10 days.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare Oabout a year ago

You could protest against the death penalty per se. I think it should be in place for capital murders, i.e. heads of state or ambassadors, because these people may require more protection and their deaths may precipitate war.

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