Arkansas executions: first death to go ahead after prisoner's challenge fails
Arkansas executions: first death to go ahead after prisoner’s challenge fails
Ledell Lee, who maintains his innocence in a brutal 1993 murder, will become the first to die in state’s historic attempt at quick-fire executions
Ed Pilkington in New York and Jacob Rosenberg in the Cummins Unit, Arkansas
Friday 21 April 2017 00.47 EDT
Arkansas has begun the execution process for Ledell Lee, one of eight condemned prisoners that the Republican-controlled state had hoped to kill in the space of just 11 days.
The department of corrections cranked into action shortly after 11.30pm local time on Thursday, just half an hour before the inmate’s death warrant had been due to expire. Lee was set to be escorted from a windowless cell just feet from the death chamber at the Cummins Unit in south-east Arkansas, where he had been made to wait for several hours, and then strapped down onto the gurney.
IV lines were attached to his body; they passed through a wall into the room occupied by two executioners who when the time comes have been trained to plunge the syringes into the tubes that led back to him. Lee will be killed with a combination of three medical drugs: medazolam to sedate him, vecuronium bromide to paralyse him, and potassium chloride to stop his heart.
The sudden activity came after a long day of legal wrangling between the Arkansas attorney general’s army of lawyers and a team of defence lawyers that worked doggedly to try and keep Lee alive. In the end, it ended up at the door of the US supreme court, where Neil Gorsuch, the new member of the nation’s highest court, participated in his first decision to send a man to his death.resist99, OzoneTom like this
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