Judge: Execution law gives too much discretion to Department of Correction

LITTLE ROCK (Arkansas News Bureau) A Pulaski County circuit judge said Friday he would enjoin the state from using new protocols from putting state prisoners to death.

Act 139 of 2013, like a previous lethal-injection law that was struck down, gives too much discretion to the state Department of Correction in violation of the separation of powers doctrine of the state constitution, Judge Wendell Griffen said.

In rulings in a lawsuit by death-row inmates challenging the law, Griffen agreed with the state that the law could be retroactively applied but ruled for the plaintiffs that the law gave too much authority to the Department of Correction. He enjoined enforcement of the law but did not immediately issue a written order.

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