Three death row inmates claim they are too obese, unhealthy for upcoming executions

Three death row inmates say they are too obese, unhealthy to execute

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Lawyers for three of the remaining men scheduled for execution before the end of April are asking a federal judge for an injunction.

The attorneys argue that Stacey Johnson, Marcel Williams and Jack Jones Jr. are all obese and unhealthy for one of the drugs in the Arkansas lethal injection protocol to work properly.

The three men have been on death row for at least 18 years.

Legal briefs say each is overweight and with combinations of diabetes, high-blood pressure or other health problems.

The requests all went to federal judge Kristine Baker, the district judge in Little Rock who stopped the unprecedented series of what were originally eight executions.

She ruled that midazolam, the sedative used at the beginning of the process, posed a risk that it would cause extreme pain, something prohibited by the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Baker issued a stay on Saturday, but it was eventually overturned by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday evening.

In light of that ruling, Judge Baker canceled her scheduled hearings on Tuesday and asked the lawyers to prove why these new claims wouldn't be overturned as well. Baker has dismissed the claim made by Johnson that his medical conditions would cause the execution drugs to affect him differently than an average inmate.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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