UPDATE: Ledell Lee was executed on Thursday, April 20 a few minutes before midnight Central Time. He was the first person executed in Arkansas since 2005. Execution warrants have expired for Don Davis, Bruce Ward, and Stacey Johnson, who are no longer at risk of imminent execution. Executions remain scheduled for four prisoners, although a stay is in place for Jason McGehee. Marcel Williams and Jack Jones are scheduled for execution on April 24, and Kenneth Williams is scheduled for execution April 27.
Arkansas hasn’t had an execution in 12 years, so why the sudden rush? Simple: their lethal injection drugs are about to expire.
Arkansas has exactly eight doses left of a crucial drug used to perform lethal injections, and it’s set to expire at the end of April. So the governor scheduled eight executions packed into a ten day period -- with two executions per day -- as if the justice system was a conveyor belt.
The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment that always violates human rights. What Arkansas is doing now is even more evidence that it needs to be abolished once and for all. Treating prisoner’s lives as if they were products with a “use by” date is abhorrent.
Rushing through executions on a conveyor belt simply because of an expiration date damages the dignity of all involved and gives a sickening image of Arkansas’ justice system. Rapid executions increase the risk of human error, and the drug they are rushing to use already been shown to make prisoners die in agony.
Sign below to tell Governor Asa Hutchinson to stop this rush to executions!
Do not proceed with your assembly line of executions. Since the modern death penalty was established in 1976, no state has attempted four double executions in ten days. And the execution drug, midazolam, is so controversial for causing botched executions that Florida and Arizona have stopped using it. Halt this cruel and unusual killing spree – it violates basic decency and is not justice.