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Arkansas holds 1st execution since 2005

Arkansas has executed an inmate for the first time in nearly a dozen years as part of its plan to put several inmates to death before a drug expires April 30, despite court rulings that have already spared three men. The eight executions would have been the most by a state in such a compressed period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Lee’s execution less than an hour before his death warrant was set to expire at midnight, rejecting a round of last-minute appeals the condemned inmate’s attorneys had filed. An earlier ruling from the state Supreme Court allowing officials to use a lethal injection drug that a supplier says was obtained by misleading the company cleared the way for the execution. Arkansas dropped plans to execute a second inmate, Stacey Johnson, on the same day after the state Supreme Court said it wouldn’t reconsider his stay, which was issued so Johnson could seek more DNA tests in hopes of proving his innocence.

Article by By Kelly P. Kissel and Sean Murphy (c) Page One News - Read full story here.