Arkansas death row inmate Don Davis ate his last meal tonight as state and federal courts deliberated over whether to proceed with his execution. He is one of eight men abruptly scheduled to die by lethal injection before the state’s supply of midazolam reaches its expiration date.
According to CNN, Davis and Bruce Ward were originally granted stays of execution. But Arkansas’s attorney general requested that the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the ruling so that Davis’s execution could be carried out. Ward, in the meantime, has one other stay granted by the Arkansas Supreme Court, and it currently remains.
On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker temporarily blocked the executions of Davis and his fellow inmates with a preliminary injunction. She argued that Arkansas’s practice of lethal injection could be proven unconstitutional due to the possibility of “severe pain” before death. However, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upended that ruling, explaining that the state’s method does not “create undue severe pain.”