Arkansas judge rejects bid to block inmate's execution

An Arkansas judge says she won't stay the execution of one of the first inmates facing lethal injection under the state's plan to put seven men to death by the end of the month.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Jodi Raines Dennis rejected the request Thursday to halt the execution of Bruce Ward, saying she doesn't have the authority to issue a stay. Ward and another inmate, Don Davis, are scheduled to be executed Monday night.

Ward's attorneys have argued the convicted murderer is a diagnosed schizophrenic with no rational understanding of his impending execution.

Their lawsuit is among a flurry of legal challenges aimed at halting the upcoming executions. Arkansas scheduled the executions to occur before the state's supply of a lethal injection drug expires at the end of April.