Arkansas executions halted temporarily

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An Arkansas County Circuit Court judge, Wendell Griffen, issued a restraining order against the state on Friday, temporarily staying the executions of eight men, which had been scheduled to begin on Monday night. The restraining order was filed in July by McKesson Corporation, who sold the state Vercuronium bromide, one of the drugs needed in the execution process. McKesson claims that the state purchased the drug under false pretenses, having misled the company regarding the intended purpose of the drug. They requested the return of the ten vials and processed the refund to the state, but never received the product back. According to the brief, “ADC [Arkansas Department of Corrections] personnel used an existing medical license, which is to be used only to order products with legitimate medical uses, and irregular ordering process to obtain the Vecuronium via phone order with a McKesson sales person.” Judge Griffen is an outspoken opponent of the death penalty, seen above joining protests of the executions outside the Governor’s mansion. The Attorney General of Arkansas filed an emergency petition on Saturday morning, asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to vacate the restraining order.

We have previously reported on the Arkansas executions here and here.

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