Inmate slated to die Thursday due at hearing

The state high court previously granted a stay of execution for Ward on a claim that he lacks the competency to face execution.

"It is heartbreaking that the family of Jane Daniel has once again seen justice delayed", Rutledge said in a statement.

Bishop Dewane joins the Catholic community of Arkansas, and people of good will across the country and around the world, in urging Governor Hutchinson to reconsider this plan.

Braden said Ward is schizophrenic and Davis has organic brain damage and is intellectually disabled. "May those in Arkansas who hold the lives of these individuals on death row in their hands be moved by God's love, which is stronger than death, and abandon the current plans for execution", Bishop Dewane wrote in asking for commutation of the sentences of those scheduled to be executed to life imprisonment.

The Arkansas high court already had issued one stay for Ward after a Jefferson County judge said she didn't have the authority to halt Ward's execution. She argued that Arkansas's practice of lethal injection could be proven unconstitutional due to the possibility of "severe pain" before death.

On April 6, U.S. District Judge J.P. Marshall halted one of the eight executions, saying the expedited schedule did not allow proper time for considering clemency for inmate Jason McGehee.

Earlier in the day, the state had cleared two of the main obstacles to resuming executions. The Innocence Project joined Johnson's attorneys Monday in filing a request for a stay of execution in the Sevier County Circuit Court.

The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission confirmed Monday an investigation of Griffen is pending following the state Supreme Court referral. The state has said it had to act quickly because one of the drugs in its difficult-to-obtain lethal injection mix, the valium-like sedative midazolam, expires at the end of April. The state scheduled such a compressed schedule because of the expiration of its supply of midazolam.

Davis' execution would have come two years after Arkansas enacted a measure making secret the source of its lethal injection drugs, a move officials said was necessary to find new supplies.

Also on Friday, a state judge issued a temporary restraining order barring the state from administering one of three drugs it planned to use, vercuronium bromide.

However, a blanket ban was made on Saturday blocking all the executions.

As for the first drug, midazolam, it has been used in botched executions in the past.

Governor Asa Hutchinson said the state would continue to push for the other lethal injections to be carried out.

The executions had originally been expected to start on Monday.

While the last-minute appeals raised technical issues involving the defendants' legal rights and courts' jurisdiction, the state's effort to execute its first prisoners since 2005 focused largely on the drugs to be used.

Appeals are likely far from over and the Supreme Court could potentially postpone other inmate's death row deadlines.

Check back with Arkansas Online for updates and read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

As the legal battle plays out, the state's execution facility is readying for a rapid reversal of the decisions.

The unprecedented pace at which Arkansas will put the seven men to death has drawn global attention.

"Davis' exact schedule for the day is confidential but as part of the death protocol, he will be meeting with counsel and a spiritual adviser", KATV reports.

Related news: