Lawyers for Arkansas ask justices to reject execution stay

Lawyers for the state of Arkansas say the state Supreme Court should deny an additional stay for a death row inmate who had been set for execution last April.

Bruce Ward has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether he should have been entitled to help from an independent mental health professional before and during his trial. Before that happens, he wants the Arkansas court to re-impose a stay it lifted March 1.

The state's lawyers said Thursday that if the U.S. Supreme Court wants to issue its own stay, it can, but the Arkansas justices should let their decision stand.

Ward and inmate Don Davis were among eight men set for execution last April. Arkansas ultimately put four of them to death.

Davis has filed an appeal similar to Ward's.