LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Latest on Arkansas' efforts to execute eight prisoners in a 10-day period later this month: (all times local):
The Arkansas Parole Board says it's not ready to announce whether it will recommend clemency for two inmates scheduled to die as part of four double executions this month.
The panel said a decision should come Tuesday in the cases of Jason McGehee and Kenneth Williams. They are two of the inmates set to die in a 10-day period beginning April 17.
Meanwhile, another inmate, Jack Jones, was set for a clemency hearing Friday. Three other inmates have had mercy requests rejected, and two others did not apply. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has the option of accepting or rejecting the panel's recommendations.
Separately, the Arkansas Supreme Court said an appeal from state lawyers hoping to keep execution drug labels out of the public eye was technically flawed. A lawyer is seeking the labels. His attorneys say that because the state hasn't complied with an order to release the documents immediately, its officials should be held in contempt of court.
Lawyers for the state of Arkansas are telling a federal court that delaying eight executions beyond April 30 would have the same effect as canceling them altogether.
Arkansas recently replaced an outdated potassium chloride supply, but in court papers Monday says it has no source for midazolam after its current stock expires at the end of the month.
To meet the deadline, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has scheduled eight executions in a 10-day period beginning April 17. No state has executed that many people in so short a time since the U.S. Supreme Court reauthorized the death penalty in 1976.
Arkansas has not executed a prisoner since 2005 because of legal challenges and drug shortages.
The inmates say the state is denying them sufficient time to bring meaningful clemency requests.