State Supreme Court takes challenge of execution on mental ground | Arkansas Blog

State Supreme Court takes challenge of execution on mental ground

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The Arkansas Supreme Court today accepted an appeal by Bruce Ward, scheduled to be killed by the state Monday, of a separate action arguing that mental disabilities should bar his executions.

The request for an execution stay was denied in Jefferson County Circuit Court. Ward's attorney asked for am emergency appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which was granted. The court ordered a complete record of the lower court proceedings. Ward is schizphrenic and attorneys say he lacks awareness of the proceedings.

The Supreme Court did not stay the execution. Instead, in a brief order, it said that motion was "held in abeyance." Justice Rhonda Wood would have simply denied the stay.

Ward and Don Davis had earlier asked the Supreme Court for a stay of execution while the U.S. Supreme Court considers similar arguments in an Alabama case.

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