WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Arkansas circuit judge has temporarily stopped scheduled executions of eight inmates amid a lawsuit questioning constitutionality of the method of punishment, local media reported on Friday.
The Pulaski County judge, Wendell Griffen, issued the order in response to a lawsuit filed by nine prisoners in June, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The inmates argued that the existing method of execution was unconstitutional.
The first two executions were scheduled for October 21.
In September, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has set dates for the execution of the eight inmates in a move that would resume the carrying out of death penalty after a ten-year pause.
The death penalty has not been carried out in Arkansas since 2005 because of legal cases challenging the existing law on using lethal injections as well as the lack of drugs to prepare the lethal injection cocktail, according to media reports.