Arkansas Supreme Court issues rulings in death cases; for now, no change in schedule | Arkansas Blog

Arkansas Supreme Court issues rulings in death cases; for now, no change in schedule

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The Arkansas Supreme Court has refused a request for reconsideration and stay of execution for Death Row inmate Jason McGehee, who's been recommended for clemency by the state Parole Board. A federal court has already temporarily stayed his April 27 execution because the execution otherwise would have occurred before the end of a 30-day comment period mandated by state law following a clemency recommendation.

The request for a stay was denied in an unsigned order without explanation, but the record of the decision said Justices Robin Wynne, Courtney Goodson and Jo Hart would have granted reconsideration and found the request for a stay moot, presumably on account of the federal court ruling. That puts Chief Justice Dan Kemp and Justices Shawn Womack, Rhonda Wood and Karen Baker on the side of refusing the motion.

In other death penalty-related action, the Court granted motions to expedite proceedings and allow expanded briefs for Don Davis and Bruce Ward, both of whom are contesting executions for inadequate consideration of mental disabilities. They are scheduled to be killed by the state Monday, though proceedings continue in federal court to stop all seven executions scheduled to begin that day and run for a 240-hour, or 10-day schedule, unitl the last begins at 7 p.m. April 17.


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