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A judge has struck down Arkansas' lethal-injection law, saying it violates the state constitution's separation-of-powers provision by giving too much discretion to the Department of Correction to choose which drug will be administered.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen said an execution law passed last year allows the department to choose a barbiturate but gives "no reasonable guidance" on how to do so or which to select.

"In this instance, the legislature has abdicated its responsibility," Griffen said from the bench after hearing oral arguments.

Nine death-row inmates challenge the 2013 law on multiple fronts.

Though Griffen accepted the one claim, he also rejected a claim from the inmates that the 2013 law shouldn't be applied retroactively to convictions before them.

Jeff Rosenzweig, an attorney for the inmates, said both sides would likely appeal and the issue will ultimately be decided by the state Supreme Court.

An earlier version of this story misspelled Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen's name.

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Archived Comments

  • T6
    February 15, 2014 at 8:44 a.m.

    Don'tSuffer has a conscience when it comes to executing criminals WHO ACTUALLY KILL someone BUT has NO PROBLEM supporting the D. Party who KILLS innocent babies in the womb and OUT.

  • FreeSpiritMan
    February 15, 2014 at 10:04 a.m.

    paladin123p06130833 ...... Unfortunately we do not have that option here in the buckle of the Bible belt.

  • Morebeer
    February 15, 2014 at 12:50 p.m.

    No T6, it s the execution of innocent people that concerns me. Can't you read?

  • T6
    February 15, 2014 at 3:18 p.m.

    Dontsuffer so you don't consider aborting innocent babies inside the womb, partial birth abortion and outright killing of babies when delivered, execution?

  • Morebeer
    February 15, 2014 at 10:12 p.m.

    T6 wants to swerve to an abortion discussion on a capital punishment thread. Must feel he can't deal with what I wrote.

  • djigoo
    February 15, 2014 at 10:45 p.m.

    Of course s/he can't, DontSuffer.

    People like that never can.

  • slowtruck106011519
    February 18, 2014 at 1:28 p.m.

    I think bring back public hanging and castration for pedophiles as long as it proven get rid of them

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