Arkansas is about to make history as the will become the first state to ever execute eight people in less than two weeks.The state’s supply of midazolam, one of three drugs used in lethal injections, is set to expire in April. Midazolam is the drug that is supposed to numb the prisoner’s body so they won’t feel pain. But reports have stated that result is not always guaranteed.Worried that they may not be to obtain more in the future, Governor Asa Hutchinson is ordering that the next eight executions they had scheduled take place before the sedative becomes useless.
Worried that they may not be to obtain more in the future, Governor Asa Hutchinson is ordering that the next eight executions they had scheduled take place before the sedative becomes useless at the end of April. So between April 17 and April 27, the state will execute eight men who have been on death row for decades for murder. On some days there will be double executions.
Gov. Hutchinson says that he wants to expedite the executions because of the expiring chemical, but also because he wants to bring the victim’s families closure after decades of waiting for justice.
Even though all eight of the men have been convicted of violent crimes, not everyone is on board to see them die so suddenly.
One, the executioners who will have to kill these men are saying that 11 days is too little time to carry out that many executions. Obviously, a lot goes into actually killing a person. They are worried that the stress from killing people back-to-back can lead to future trauma.
Then there are the convict’s lawyers who claim that not all of the men were fairly represented at trial anyway and deserve reviews of their prior appeals. On top of that, Arkansas death row inmates aren’t allowed to file for clemency until an execution date is set. Usually, that gives them the years necessary to build a case. But in this instance, these men were notified just days before they were set to die.
Also, there’s just mandatory legal procedures that come along with performing an execution. Lawyers are complaining that these procedures are usually lengthy for one client and can’t imagine trying to cram multiple clients together, on top of the other inmates that were already scheduled for execution before them.
The victim’s families are on the side of the Governor. They aren’t too concerned with those circumstances. They rightfully want justice for their murdered family members.
However, this will not be the first time Arkansas goes down in execution history. They’ve also carried out triple executions, twice. Once in in 1994 and again in 1997.
Messed up situation all around, read more about it in depth at NPR.