LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday set execution dates for eight Arkansas inmates.
Hutchinson set dates in April for the executions of eight death-row inmates who have exhausted their state appeals. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Arkansas’ lethal-injection law and the Arkansas Supreme Court subsequently lifted stays of execution it had issued for the inmates.
The inmates, plus one other whose appeals have not been exhausted, unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of the law, which keeps secret the sources of the state’s execution drugs and prescribes the types of drugs to be used in executions.
The inmates filed an amended complaint Friday seeking new stays of their executions.
“As required by law, I have set the execution dates for the eight convicted of capital murder,” Hutchinson said in a statement Monday. “This is based upon the attorney general’s referral and the exhaustion of all appeals and court reviews that have been ongoing for more than a decade. This action is necessary to fulfill 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.”
It was unclear whether the state would be ready to execute the inmates by April. Its supply of one of its execution drugs, potassium chloride, expired Jan. 1 and has not yet been replaced.
The execution dates the governor set are:
• April 17 for Don William Davis and Bruce Earl Ward.
• April 20 for Stacey Eugene Johnson and Ledelle Lee.
• April 24 for Jack Harold Jones and Marcel W. Williams.
• April 27 for Jason F. McGehee and Kenneth D. Williams.
Arkansas has not executed an inmate since 2005 because of legal challenges and difficulties in obtaining execution drugs.