"It is unfortunate that a US district judge has chosen to side with the convicted prisoners in one of their many last-minute attempts to delay justice", Judd Deere, a spokesman for Rutledge said in a statement.
Despite several court rulings that put its plans in jeopardy, Arkansas hopes to go ahead with the executions of six men between Monday and April 27, which would be a pace exceeded only by Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court reauthorized the death penalty in 1976. Protesters gather outside the state Capitol building on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Little Rock, Ark., to voice their opposition to Arkansas' seven upcoming executions.
"Easter celebration in Arkansas @AGRutledge's office includes fighting to kill prisoners", Sister Prejean said in a Sunday tweet.
Premeditated and deliberate killing of defenseless persons ― including defenseless persons who have been convicted of murder ― is not morally justifiable.
"I understand how hard this is on the victims' families, and my heart goes out to them as they once again deal with the continued court reviews; however, the last-minute court reviews are all part of the hard process of death penalty cases", said Mr. Hutchinson, a Republican.
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Mr. Hutchinson said Saturday that he had "confidence in the attorney general and her team to expedite the reviews".
The inmates are challenging the planned execution method, and claim that the scheduling of back-to-back executions widen the probability of potential mistakes.
On Friday, Griffen granted a restraining order preventing Arkansas from using its supply of vecuronium bromide, one of three drugs it uses in executions, because the supplier said the state misleadingly obtained the drug.
The next day, however, Ms. Rutledge caught a break when the pharmaceutical company behind the Pulaski County lawsuit, McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc., filed to dismiss the case after the issuance of the federal injunction.
"We have worked round the clock for the last couple of weeks and particularly in the last couple of days, as judges have made decisions and court cases have been filed in these pieces of litigation, to ensure again that justice is carried out for these families of the victims", Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge told Little Rock NBC-affiliate KARK.
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The state of Arkansas has not executed an inmate since 2005 due to drug shortages and legal challenges.
"It is unfortunate that a USA district judge has chosen to side with the convicted prisoners in one of their many last-minute attempts to delay justice", Jude Deere, an office spokesman, said.
The prisoners had argued that the drug protocol violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
Rutledge filed an emergency motion with the Arkansas Supreme Court on Saturday, saying the stay put on Ward's execution was "without merit".
"He is outside the bounds of normal behavior for most judges probably anywhere in America", Republican state Sen. Cotton said on Twitter. Please support our efforts.
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