THE LATEST: Fox 16 is reporting that the Supreme Court has granted a stay of execution. Don W. Davis will not be executed tonight. Matt DeCample, a spokesman for the governor, says Gov. Mike Beebe has asked the Department of Corrections to "stand down." According to the Supreme Court opinion, the "stay will allow the pending claim in Pulaski County Circuit Court that the new Method of Execution Act (Act 1296 of 2009) violates the separation of powers clause of the Arkansas Constitution to be resolved." This separation of powers issue, the opinion says, cannot be decided before the execution takes place.
From earlier today:
The state of Arkansas is set to execute an inmate tonight at 9 p.m., the first execution in five years. From KUAR:
If Davis is killed tonight, it would be the first execution carried out during Beebe's term. The Governor was recently asked his thoughts by FM 89 as the state prepared to resume executions.
"It's easy for everybody to say they support the death penalty and I have long since said that I supported the death penalty. And I have a constitutional obligation to carry that out," Beebe said. "I don't care how heinous the crime is or heinous the person convicted happens to be, it's a heavy burden to go through an execution. It's not good on anybody."
UPDATE: The Coalition Against the Death Penalty will hold a vigil outside the Governor's Mansion tonight in memory of those who have been executed and in memory of Arkansas murder victims. The vigil begins at 8:30 p.m. and will continue until Davis' execution.