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New batch of lethal-injection drug acquired; execution date sought for Arkansas death-row inmate

By Brandon Riddle

This article was originally published August 17, 2017 at 4:12 p.m. Updated August 17, 2017 at 5:18 p.m.

Jack Greene


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A spokesman for Arkansas' governor says he plans to set an execution date for a death-row inmate after the attorney general requested it and the prisons department confirmed the state has acquired a new batch of a needed lethal-injection drug.

In a letter Thursday to Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Leslie Rutledge asked that the death sentence be carried out for 62-year-old Jack Gordon Greene.

Hutchinson's spokesman, J.R. Davis, said by phone that evening that the governor will schedule Greene's execution. A time frame has not been announced.

Also Thursday, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction told an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter that the state acquired a new supply of midazolam — one of three drugs needed to complete executions, per state protocol — on Aug. 4. No stay of execution is in place regarding Greene’s conviction.

Greene was convicted in the July 1991 death of Sidney Burnett, 69, of Knoxville, who was found bound and gagged, beaten with a can of hominy, and stabbed twice, the Democrat-Gazette previously reported. The retired minister also had his throat slit.

The killer had reportedly met Burnett and his family several years before at their outreach mission in Lamar, which is about 4.5 miles north and west of Knoxville in Johnson County.

Records show Greene also received a life sentence in North Carolina in the slaying of his brother, 45-year-old Turner "Tommy" Greene of Wilkesboro, N.C., and the abduction of his then-15-year-old niece, Angela Dawn Blankenship of Purlear, N.C.

Greene arrived in Arkansas three days after his brother's killing.

Greene's attorneys argue that the convicted killer is severely mentally ill, saying he suffers from a fixed delusion that prison officials are conspiring with his attorneys to cover up injuries he believes corrections officers have inflicted on him.

"Capital punishment should not be used on vulnerable people like the severely mentally ill," John C. Williams, an assistant federal defender representing Greene, said in a statement to The Associated Press. "We hope Governor Hutchinson will refrain from setting an execution date for Mr. Greene since he is not competent for execution."

Thursday’s request comes months after the state carried out the executions of four death-row inmates by lethal injection. Eight executions had been planned over an 11-day period in April.

The state scheduled the executions to occur before its supply of midazolam expired.

Department of Correction Spokesman Solomon Graves told the AP on Thursday that the state's new supply expires in January 2019.

Read Friday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Information for this article was contributed by The Associated Press and John Moritz of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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Comments on: New batch of lethal-injection drug acquired; execution date sought for Arkansas death-row inmate

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 total comments

information19 says... August 17, 2017 at 5:09 p.m.

So quick to put someone to death and so quick to remove a woman's choice, this AG has to go!

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DoubleBlind says... August 17, 2017 at 5:13 p.m.

Where did the drugs come from? Back in April, it seemed no pharmacy co was willing to sell drugs for use in executions, hence the rush to kill as many as possible. What changed? Where did AR get the new drugs?

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TravisBickle says... August 17, 2017 at 6:16 p.m.

Time to roll up the sleeves, fellas.

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Retiredofit says... August 17, 2017 at 7:48 p.m.

Info 19.....26 years on death row, I don't think is quick! He was competent to stand trial and convicted on two murders. I'm done paying for his crimes, now he can pay for it. An eye for an eye! Let's line them up, before we spend any more money on them. Come on lefties, let's here how they should have more rights then the one's they took the lives from.

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AuntPetunia says... August 17, 2017 at 7:49 p.m.

So quick to put someone to death? He was convicted over 26 years ago. Regarding women's choices, I don't think there's ever been a time in history when women had more contraceptive options to choose from.

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Tigermule says... August 17, 2017 at 9:08 p.m.

It's a crime that this monster is still breathing

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Kharma says... August 17, 2017 at 9:08 p.m.

Vasectomies prevent abortions. Just sayin!

And not to beat a dead horse but ... quickly my azz ... 26 years is way too long to have him stinking up the place ... just whack him and get it over with ...

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information19 says... August 18, 2017 at 2:25 a.m.

For the simpleton in the room, how about this...being okay judging and condemning an individual to death for their decision and turning around and judging and condemning a female for her personal decision. And by the way, it is fiscally less expensive to for an individual to be sentenced to life and live out their days than it is for that same individual to be put to death. I either case the lawyers are making the money and society continues to pay...

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TheBatt says... August 18, 2017 at 12:10 p.m.

"Capital punishment should not be used on vulnerable people like the severely mentally ill," John C. Williams, an assistant federal defender representing Greene, said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Really - just like his victim in Arkansas - a can of hominy shouldn't have been used, as he was vulnerable (hands bound, gagged, etc.).

This is an absolutely ridiculous argument.

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