Arkansas Supreme Court Overturns Lawsuit Blocking Arkansas From Using Execution Drugs

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — An Arkansas Supreme Court has sided with the state on Thursday (April 20) in a battle over whether the state is allowed to use its execution drugs.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has granted a motion to stay an injunction that blocked the state from using its execution drugs. This means Arkansas can move forward with its upcoming executions.

The pharmaceutical company McKesson filed the injunction, which was granted by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray on Wednesday (April 19). The injunction blocked the state from using vecuronium bromide, an anesthesia drug, in its executions.

McKesson argued that the state misled the company by not telling them the drugs would be used for executions.

On Thursday afternoon, two other pharmaceutical companies that supplied execution drugs to the state asked to be added to the case.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a motion to stay the injunction, or overturn it, which would allow the execution drugs to be used.

The state supreme court sided with Rutledge on Thursday afternoon.

Stacey Johnson and Ledell Lee are both scheduled to be executed on Thursday night. However, Johnson has been granted a stay of execution by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Lee’s execution is currently clear to move forward.

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