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Arkansas court grants AG's request; Lee's execution can proceed

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has filed a motion for an emergency stay with the Arkansas Supreme Court after a Pulaski County judge blocked the use of one of the drugs used in the execution protocol. (MGN photo)

The Arkansas Supreme Court has granted the attorney general's request for an emergency stay of the Pulaski County judge's injunction on the use of the execution drugs.

This paves the way for the execution of death row inmate Ledell Lee to proceed. At this time, there is nothing prohibiting Lee's execution Thursday night.

In response, McKesson Corporation, the distributor of Vecuronium bromide, said, "We believe we have done all we can do at this time to recover our product. We are disappointed that the Arkansas Supreme Court has held our favorable injunction ruling in abeyance and delayed further scheduling in our case."

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Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has filed a motion for an emergency stay with the Arkansas Supreme Court after a Pulaski County judge blocked the use of one of the drugs used in the execution protocol.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray on Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order to McKesson Corp., the distributor of Vecuronium bromide. McKesson says it sold Vecuronium bromide to be used for inmate care. The drug is one of three used in Arkansas' lethal injection protocol.

Judge Gray issued the written temporary restraining order on Thursday, saying the state acted in "bad faith" getting the drugs.

Rutledge filed the motion, saying the state requires “extremely expedited handling of this matter because the injunction entered bars both the early-afternoon mixing and evening use of a lethal-injection drug for tonight’s scheduled execution.”

Arkansas death row inmates Ledell Lee and Stacey Johnson are both scheduled to be executed Thursday.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay of the execution of Johnson.

The Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association released a statement in reference to ongoing death penalty litigation. Read the full statement below:





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