Death penalty controversy

In this Monday evening, April 17, 2017 photo, the sun sets behind clouds over an Arkansas State Police command post outside the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction near Varner, Ark. As state officials prepare to carry out a double execution Thursday ahead of a drug expiration deadline and despite the setback the U.S. Supreme Court delivered late Monday, lawyers for those condemned men look to be taking a different approach: claiming the prisoners are actually innocent. (Stephen B. Thornton/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)
April 20, 2017 - 11:28 am
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' aggressive effort to conduct its first executions since 2005 stalled for a second time this week when courts blocked lethal injections set for Thursday, prompting Gov. Asa Hutchinson to complain that state judges aren't honoring the decisions jurors made when...
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Ledell Lee appears in Pulaski County Circuit Court Tuesday, April 18, 2017, for a hearing in which lawyers argued to stop his execution which is scheduled for Thursday. Unless a court steps in, Lee and Stacey Johnson are set for execution Thursday night. Lee was sentenced to death after being convicted of killing Debra Reese with a tire iron in February 1993 in Jacksonville. (Benjamin Krain/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)
April 20, 2017 - 2:01 am
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' attempt to carry out its first execution in nearly 12 years wasn't thwarted by the type of liberal activist judge Republicans regularly bemoan here, but instead by a state Supreme Court that's been the focus of expensive campaigns by conservative groups to reshape...
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FILE - This April 14, 2017, file photo provided by Sherry Simon shows Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen taking part of an anti-death penalty demonstration outside the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock, Ark. Griffen, who participated in the demonstration after issuing an order blocking the state's executions is defending the move, saying his ruling was guided by property law and not his views on capital punishment. The state Supreme Court on Monday, April 17 lifted Griffen's order and prohibited the judge from considering any death penalty-related cases. (Sherry Simon via AP, File)
April 19, 2017 - 8:28 pm
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration after issuing an order blocking the state's executions defended the move Wednesday, saying his ruling was guided by property law and not his views on capital punishment. Pulaski County Circuit Judge...
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This combination of undated photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Stacey E. Johnson, left, and Ledell Lee. Both men are scheduled for execution on April 20, 2017. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP)
April 19, 2017 - 2:51 pm
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Two Arkansas inmates set to die this week in a double execution filed more legal challenges Wednesday, but so far the pair is hitting roadblocks as a judge weighs a new attempt to prevent the state from using one of its lethal injection drugs in what would be the state's...
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This combination of undated photos provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmates Stacey E. Johnson, left, and Ledell Lee. Both men are scheduled for execution on April 20, 2017. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP)
April 18, 2017 - 6:38 pm
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on Arkansas' plans to conduct several executions this month (all times local): 5:15 p.m. An Arkansas inmate scheduled to die Thursday night is asking the state's Supreme Court to block his execution so he can pursue additional DNA testing to prove his claims of...
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People gather at a rally opposing the state's upcoming executions, on the front steps of Arkansas' Capitol, Friday, April 14, 2017, in Little Rock, Ark. (Stephen B. Thornton/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)
April 18, 2017 - 12:52 am
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on executions scheduled to take place in Arkansas before the end of April (all times local): 11:50 p.m. The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Arkansas' request to lift a stay that would have allowed the state to conduct its first execution in nearly a dozen years...
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, gestures while delivering a speech during a rally of supporters a day after the referendum, outside the Presidential Palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, April 17, 2017. Turkey's main opposition party urged the country's electoral board Monday to cancel the results of a landmark referendum that granted sweeping new powers to Erdogan, citing what it called substantial voting irregularities. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
April 17, 2017 - 10:51 pm
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has finally fulfilled his long-held ambition to expand his powers after Sunday's referendum handed him the reins of his country's governance. But success did not come without a cost. His victory leaves the nation deeply divided and facing...
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, gestures while delivering a speech during a rally of supporters a day after the referendum, outside the Presidential Palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, April 17, 2017. Turkey's main opposition party urged the country's electoral board Monday to cancel the results of a landmark referendum that granted sweeping new powers to Erdogan, citing what it called substantial voting irregularities. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
April 17, 2017 - 10:23 pm
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has finally fulfilled his long-held ambition to expand his powers after Sunday's referendum handed him the reins of his country's governance. But success did not come without a cost. His victory leaves the nation deeply divided and facing...
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Protesters gather outside the state Capitol building on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Little Rock, Ark., to voice their opposition to Arkansas' seven upcoming executions. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)
April 17, 2017 - 9:41 pm
VARNER, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas raced against the clock to get U.S. Supreme Court approval to execute a convicted killer Monday but backed off putting another inmate to death as part of what had been a plan to carry out double executions on four nights before the state's supply of a lethal injection...
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This photo provided by Sherry Simon shows Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen taking part of an anti-death penalty demonstration outside the Governor's Mansion Friday, April 14, 2017 in Little Rock, Ark. Griffen issued a temporary restraining order Friday blocking the state from using its supply of vecuronium bromide after a company said it had sold the drug to the state for medical purposes, not capital punishment. Local media outlets had tweeted photos and video of Griffen appearing to mimic an inmate strapped to a gurney at the demonstration. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office said she planned to file an emergency request with the state Supreme Court to vacate Griffen's order, saying Griffen shouldn't handle the case. (Sherry Simon via AP)
April 17, 2017 - 9:39 pm
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A judge who lay on a cot as though he were a death row inmate on a gurney after issuing an order halting Arkansas' multiple execution plan was barred Monday from taking up any capital punishment-related cases and referred to a disciplinary panel. The state Supreme Court...
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