Arkansas Supreme Court Delays Execution

Court votes 5-2 to delay execution of Jack Greene, who challenged a state law that gives the state’s top prison official the authority to determine if he is mentally competent.

The Arkansas Supreme Court halted the planned execution of an inmate whose lawyers claim is severely mentally ill, while a state judge ordered officials to release more information about one of the lethal injection drugs they had planned to use, The Guardian reports. Jack Greene was scheduled to die on Thursday night for the 1991 killing of Sidney Burnett, who was beaten with a can of hominy, stabbed and shot. In a 5-2 ruling, the court granted an emergency stay requested by Greene’s attorneys but did not state a reason for doiing so.

Arkansas has not executed anyone since it put to death four inmates over an eight-day period in April. Greene’s attorneys asked for the stay so justices could review a lower court’s decision to dismiss his challenge of a state law that gives Arkansas’s top prison official the authority to determine whether he is competent. Greene’s attorneys say he believes the attorneys and prison officials have conspired to torture him. Greene has said his lawyers are lying and that he does not suffer from a mental impairment. Arkansas had planned to put eight inmates to death over an 11-day period in April, scheduling the executions before its supply of a lethal injection drug expired. Four of the executions were blocked by courts. Greene’s execution was scheduled after the state obtained a new supply of the drug, midazolam.