LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An aggressive effort by the state of Arkansas to carry out its first executions since 2005 stalled for the second time this week as courts blocked two lethal injections planned for Thursday, prompting Gov. Asa Hutchinson to express frustration at legal delaying tactics.
While the latest court rulings could be overturned, Arkansas now faces an uphill battle to execute any inmates before the end of April, when one of its lethal injection drugs expires.
The state originally set eight executions over an 11-day period in April, which would have been the most by a state in such a compressed period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. But Arkansas has faced a wave of legal challenges. Four of the eight have been granted stays of execution.
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