U.S state's plans for 'assembly line of executions' a step closer after they get hold of lethal drug

An American State’s plans to execute eight death row prisoners in 10 days moved a step closer after officials said they had obtained enough doses of a lethal drug.

Authorities in Arkansas uses three drugs in its death chamber, but its supply of potassium chloride expired in January.

Today a spokesman for the State’s Department of Corrections has said they now have enough to conduct the eight executions next month after receiving 100 phials on March 8.

“Coupled with the two remaining drugs, there are enough to carry out the scheduled executions,” Solomon Graves said.

Arkansas has not executed an inmate since 2005, but Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered four sets of double executions before another of the three drugs, midazolam, passes its use by date in April.

Ledelle Lee
(Photo: Arkansas Department of Correction)
Jason McGehee
(Photo: Arkansas Department of Correction)
Stacey Johnson
(Photo: Arkansas Department of Correction)

Lawyers for the men – Don Davis, 54, Bruce Earl Ward, 70, Ledelle Lee, 51, Stacey Johnson, 48, Marcell Williams, 46, Jack Jones, Jr., 52, Jason McGehee, 40 and 35-year-old Kenneth Williams – have so far unsuccessfully appealed to state and federal courts seeking a stay of execution.

All eight have convicted of murders that occurred between 1989 and 1999.

Marcel Williams
(Photo: Arkansas Department of Correction)
Bruce Ward
(Photo: Arkansas Department of Correction)

“I would love to have those extended over a period of multiple months and years, but that’s not the circumstances that I find myself in,” said Governor Hutchinson.

“This action is necessary to fulfil the requirement of the law, but it is also important to bring closure to the victims’ families who have lived with the court appeals and uncertainty for a very long time.”

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