The state’s midazolam supply is set to expire at the end of April, officials say. And with no clear answer about whether the state will be able to obtain a new set of drugs, Hutchinson said he had little choice but to set the dates.
The seven inmates still facing execution all were convicted of capital murder. All are men; four are black and three are white. They all received their sentences by the year 2000, and some of them have been on death row for a quarter-century or longer.
Arkansas officials blame the packed April execution schedule on the drug shortage, which has sent states scrambling for replacement chemicals and, in some cases, has caused them to contemplate other methods of execution. After the lengthy lull in executions — owing to legal challenges and the drug shortage — Arkansas state authorities say the lethal injections scheduled between April 17 and April 27 are overdue.
Most executions are carried out with little public notice, but the scheduling in Arkansas has drawn remarkable national scrutiny and criticism for the executions being scheduled back-to-back on four days in an 11-day span.
Justice delayed is justice denied. Strap 'em down and carry out the lawful sentences forthwith.