April 15, 2017 / 1:33 PM / 7 months ago

U.S. judge halts multiple Arkansas executions

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 15 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge in Little Rock on Saturday temporarily blocked plans by Arkansas to hold a rapid series of executions this month, after the inmates argued the state’s rush to the death chamber was unconstitutional and reckless.

Arkansas, which has not carried out an execution in 12 years, planned to kill seven convicted murderers beginning Monday. No state has ever executed as many inmates in as short a period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

The state Supreme Court on Friday granted a stay of execution on one of the seven, and an eighth inmate whom the state planned to execution won an earlier stay. (Reporting by Steve Barnes; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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