John Lyon with our content partner, the Arkansas News Bureau, follows up on Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's comments earlier in the week regarding the state's execution law.
McDaniel said, “If the Supreme Court thinks … that executions should be declared unconstitutional, then they should do that. But instead, since the day I became attorney general they’ve simply erected one procedural hurdle after another to ensure that we can’t execute those who have committed the most heinous crimes in Arkansas.”
From Lyon's report:
Michael Johnson, a law professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, said states across the country have changed their lethal injection protocols in recent years, which has led to numerous legal challenges.
“I think the problems really have occurred over the last several years because of unavailability
of drugs used in the protocols,” Johnson said.
Sodium thiopentol, previously one of three drugs used in a three-drug cocktail in executions across the country, has been in short supply because its American manufacturer has stopped producing the drug for use in executions.
That shortage led to the Arkansas Department of Corrections’ decision to begin buying the drug from a British supplier, but last year the state surrendered its supply to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration because the drug had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
McDaniel isn't the only law enforcement official frustrated by the execution delays. Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley is equally as frustrated and fears that once the legislature works around the latest Supreme Court “hurdle,” a new round of lawsuits delaying state executions will ensue.
Read more here.