LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - There's a new twist to report in the on-going legal battles over tonight's scheduled executions.
Early Thursday afternoon, two more drug makers filed a brief with the Arkansas Supreme Court voicing their opposition to the use of drugs in the lethal injection process the state would use to carry out the executions.
Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC and West-Wand Pharmaceuticals Corp. cited the motion filed Wednesday by another drug maker (McKesson), saying that McKesson's argument has "raised issues that include the troubling circumstances under which the State of Arkansas obtained McKesson's vecuronium bromide."
On Wednesday, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Alice Gray agreed with McKesson and issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) barring use of one of the lethal injection drugs, namely Vecuronium bromide. The judge found that drug maker McKesson sufficiently proved the state acted outside authority and "in bad faith" in its purchase of the drug. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has filed a motion to have that order overturned and the state is proceeding with execution preparations.
In another action early Thursday afternoon, the State Supreme Court denied a stay of execution request in one of Ledell Lee's cases in state court.
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