Early Tuesday morning, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge from Arkansas officials of a state Supreme Court stay of execution for the man who would have been the first inmate put to death in the state in over a decade.
The Arkansas Supreme Court granted a stay of execution for a second death-row inmate who was also scheduled to be put to death Monday night. The back-to-back executions were part of the state’s attempt to use up its supply of midazolam—one of three drugs necessary for lethal injection—before the drug expires at the end of the month. A federal judge stayed another of the eight executions earlier this month, after the state parole board recommended the inmate’s death sentence be commuted to life without parole. State officials told the Washington Post the executions were unlikely to be rescheduled before the drug expires.
Despite a slew of legal challenges from all eight inmates, there is nothing preventing the remaining five executions at this time; the next two are scheduled for Thursday night.