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Arkansas Plans to Execute 8 Men in 10 Days, Half of Them Are Black

Derrick Hill

With Arkansas' contracts for the pharmaceutical supplies needed to conduct lethal injection procedures, soon expiring, the state is rushing the execution of 8 death row inmates. “I would love to have those extended over a period of multiple months and years, but that’s not the circumstances that I find myself in,” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said, after announcing that the death penalty for the 8 prisoners [4 of whom are White men, and 4 of whom are Black], will be carried out over a 10 day period in April. Hutchinson claims that while signing the death warrants didn't put him at ease, he believes it was a necessary action to provide closure for the families of the victims the inmates were convicted of murdering. The three drugs the state is set to lose are Midazalam [a sedative], Vecuronium Bromide [a paralytic agent], and Potassium Chloride [an electrolyte that the body naturally contains to regulate the heartbeat; too much of which stops the heart altogether]. Potassium Chloride has already expired, and Hutchinson is currently racing to find another supplier. Midazalam will expire in April, and Vecuronium Bromide will expire in March of 2018. “It is uncertain as to whether another drug can be obtained and the families of the victims do not need to live with continued uncertainty after decades of review,” the governor said of his decision. Lethal injection as a means of execution has come under scrutiny recently, with opponents of the method having taken states to court to prove that it is a cruel and unusual punishment. There are a number of cases in which the cocktails used on inmates did not immediately work, leading to hours of torturous pain. At issue is also the refusal of many of the European pharmaceutical companies that supply the injection agents, to continue doing business with the U.S. over their disapproval of the death penalty. Source: sandrarose.com


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