This content is not available in your region

Critics slam 'assembly line executions' in Arkansas

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
Critics slam 'assembly line executions' in Arkansas

<p>Tension is rising in Arkansas as it prepares to put seven prisoners to death over an 11 day period starting from Monday.</p> <p>As the prisoners battle in court to halt the rush to the death chamber, two pharmaceuticals companies have asked a judge to block the US state from using their drugs for the executions.</p> <p>Fresenius Kabi <span class="caps">USA</span> and West-Ward Pharmaceuticals asked a federal court in Arkansas to <br /> take into consideration that the use of their drugs during a lethal injection “violates contractual supply-chain controls” they have it place, according to an online court document.</p> <p>The firms sell their drugs only to wholesalers and distributors that agree to resell only to acute-care hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities. They also instruct resellers not to sell or deliver their drugs to correctional facilities, according to the brief.</p> <p>The companies claim that use of their drugs as part of a lethal injection cocktail would create a public health risk by decreasing the supply of the medications and that the improper buying and selling of the drugs makes them unsafe.</p> <br /> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">2 firms seek to prevent their drugs' use in Arkansas executions <a href="https://t.co/jbhd22BLMC">https://t.co/jbhd22BLMC</a> <a href="https://t.co/d8ogSQDUdD">pic.twitter.com/d8ogSQDUdD</a></p>— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/YahooNews/status/852755803853410306">14 avril 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <br /> <p>Despite these and other moves to stop what critics call ‘assembly-line executions’, Republican <br /> Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson defends the unprecedented pace, including three pairs of dual executions. </p> <p>“It has been a 25 year nightmare for the victims that have had to deal with this and now it is time for that justice to be carried out,” he said.</p> <p>No state has ever executed as many inmates in as short a period since the US Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.</p> <p>Critics say the rushed schedule is reckless, increasing the chance of errors. </p> <p>Human Rights Watch is among the groups opposing the executions.</p> <br /> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">In gruesome rush to beat (of all things) drug expiration date, Arkansas plans to rush 7 men to execution in 10 days. <a href="https://t.co/N14q0zJyN9">https://t.co/N14q0zJyN9</a> <a href="https://t.co/MpJbg7QbGn">pic.twitter.com/MpJbg7QbGn</a></p>— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) <a href="https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/852911420169650176">14 avril 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <br /> <p>Outside the Arkansas statehouse in Little Rock on Friday, death penalty opponents including film star Johnny Depp rallied against the planned executions. He was accompanied by former death-row inmate Damien Echols.</p> <br /> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Johnny Depp is speaking as a friend of Damien Echols <a href="https://t.co/vDqviqnBGM">pic.twitter.com/vDqviqnBGM</a></p>— Erika Ferrando THV11 (@ErikaFerrandoTV) <a href="https://twitter.com/ErikaFerrandoTV/status/852964789886255106">14 avril 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <br /> <p>Arkansas hasn’t put anyone to death for over a decade. The European Union has urged it to commute the death sentences.</p> <p>But Governor Hutchinson says the state must act quickly, because one of the chemicals in the difficult-to-obtain lethal injection, the sedative midazolam, expires at the end of April.</p> <br /> <p><em>with Reuters</em></p>