By Jeff Simpson
Deep Red State, Arkansas, the former home of Bill Clinton, the current headquarters of Wal-Mart and represented in the United States Senate by Republicans John Boozeman and Tom Cotton, is about to make real history.
The State of Arkansas is desperately wanting to put 8 men to death in the next 10 days.
The state of Arkansas plans to put to death eight inmates over a span of 10 days next month, a pace of executions unequaled in recent American history and brought about by a looming expiration date for a drug used by the state for lethal injections.
The eight men facing execution — four black and four white — are among 34 death row inmates in Arkansas, where capital punishment has been suspended since 2005 over legal challenges and difficulty in acquiring the drugs for lethal injections.
Unfortunately for our friends in Arkansas, a Federal Judge put the brakes on their grand plans.
A federal judge threw the process into turmoil early Saturday after agreeing to halt the scheduled executions, putting the Arkansas' capital punishment plans in jeopardy for the foreseeable future. The state attorney general's office is appealing.Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson is not a huge fan of killing people, but hey its his job!
The latest moves follow Friday's hectic events capped by an anti-death penalty rally, a decision to put one condemned man's execution on hold and a judge issuing a temporary restraining order on one of the drugs in the state's lethal injection cocktail.
"It's not something I designed from when I ran for governor," Hutchinson told reporters at a recent news conference, the only time he's spoken at length publicly about the decision. "It's something that is put in your lap as the result of 25 years of litigation action and it's here for me."So now there is a standoff with 8 lives in the balance. while their lawyers work hard to keep their clients from an inhumane death, Governor Hutchinson will be using taxpayer money to work hard to put eight fellow human beings to death.
If allowed to proceed with the executions, they would be the first Arkansas has carried out since 2005 due to legal wrangling and trouble obtaining the drugs. But separate courts granted stays to two inmates before two other courts — one state and one federal — temporarily barred the state from executing any of them at this time. The state is appealing.
We will see how this plays out, but in the meantime, Governor Hutchinson has a greeting for all:
I hope everyone has a blessed Easter with friends and family today. He is risen!— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) April 16, 2017
Yes He is risen....now put the candy away and lets get to the lethal injections!