Arkansas court allows state to use execution drug


UPDATE 3-Arkansas court allows state to use execution drug

(Recasts with court decision)
    By Steve BarnesLITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 20 (Reuters) - The Arkansas Supreme
Court allowed the state on Thursday to use a drug it had planned
to use as part of a cocktail of multiple lethal injections this
month but had been blocked by a lower court from using after a
seller said the prison system used deception in acquiring the
    The ruling came about three hours before Arkansas planned to
execute convicted murderers Stacey Johnson and Ledell Lee.
    It was not clear whether the state could proceed with either
execution after multiple petitions for stays were filed at the
U.S. Supreme Court, which has not issued a ruling on the
    Arkansas was planning to execute Johnson and Lee from 7 p.m
at its Cummins Unit in Grady, which houses the state's death
    The Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a halt to
Johnson's execution after he requested DNA testing he said could
prove his innocence. [nL1N1HR25O]
    Legal experts said it was unlikely that the state could
proceed with his execution.
    On Thursday, the same court denied a request from Lee to
halt his execution.

Numbers and methods of U.S. executions
U.S. states considering alternative execution methods face legal
hurdles    [L1N1HQ1J5]
 (Reporting by Steve Barnes in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Jon
Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Writing by Jon Herskovitz and Steve
Gorman; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Sandra Maler)
 ((; +1 512 285-0178; Reuters


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