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AG Rutledge not appealing Arkansas Supreme Court's decision to halt execution

Jack Greene was sentenced to die for the 1991 death of Sidney Burnett, who was beaten with a can of hominy, stabbed and shot. (Photo: Arkansas Department of Correction){ }

LITTLE ROCK (AP/KATV) -- The Arkansas attorney general's office tells KATV it will not appeal the Arkansas Supreme Court's decision on a stay of execution for death row inmate Jack Greene.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's Office says they will also not seek a rehearing for Greene.

Back in April, the attorney general's office appealed inmate Don Davis' stay of execution to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court denied the case, leaving it to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

When the same stay was placed on inmate Bruce Ward, the attorney general decided not to appeal it based off the decision in Davis' case.

Rutledge's office released the following statement in reference to Greene's case:

With no written order or explanation provided, the Arkansas Supreme Court has once again delayed justice for the family of Sidney Burnett. I will continue to fight for justice for Sidney Burnett and to give the Burnett family the closure they deserve.

Governor Asa Hutchinson also responded:

I am surprised by the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision to issue an emergency stay of execution for Jack Greene. Last-minute delays are always very difficult and only prolong the justice the Burnett family was promised more than 20 years ago.
This case has been reviewed by the courts on numerous occasions, and the state must now await further court action before the penalty given by an Arkansas jury is carried out.

Following the Arkansas Supreme Court's decision, Jack Greene's attorney, Scott Braden, released the following statement:

Today’s order means that our client, Jack Greene, will have the opportunity to make the case that he should receive an independent hearing about his competency for execution.
The U.S Constitution prohibits the execution of prisoners with mental illness so severe that they lack a rational understanding of the punishment, yet Arkansas law gives the Department of Correction Director sole discretion over such proceedings, denying the prisoners’ due process rights.
Mr. Greene’s mental health must be the subject of a fair competency hearing with a neutral decision maker. We look forward to seeking such a hearing for Mr. Greene, whose severe mental illness is well-documented.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The Latest on Arkansas' planned execution of convicted murderer Jack Greene (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has halted this week's planned execution of an inmate whose attorneys say suffers from psychotic delusions.

Justices on Tuesday granted the request for an emergency stay for Jack Greene, who had been scheduled to be executed Thursday night. Greene, who's from North Carolina, was sentenced to die for the 1991 death of Sidney Burnett, who was beaten with a can of hominy, stabbed and shot.

Greene's attorneys had asked for the stay so justices could review a lower court's decision to dismiss his challenge of a state law that gives Arkansas' top prison official the authority to determine whether he is competent.------

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3:20 p.m.

(AP) An Arkansas judge has ordered the state to release more information about one of the drugs it plans to use to put an inmate to death this week.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce gave the state Department of Correction until 4 p.m. Tuesday to release a copy of the package insert for its supply of midazolam to an attorney who had sued for the information. The sedative is one of three drugs Arkansas uses for lethal injections. Pierce said he'll hold a hearing Wednesday on what information should be withheld from the label.

The state Supreme Court ruled last week that the name of the drugmaker can't be kept secret under an Arkansas law that keeps the source of the state's lethal injection drugs secret. Justices sent the case back to Pierce to determine what other information should be withheld.

Arkansas plans to execute Jack Greene on Thursday for the 1991 slaying of Sidney Burnett.

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11:45 a.m.

(AP) Arkansas' attorney general says an inmate set to die this week has no right to a stay of execution.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Tuesday asked the state Supreme Court to reject a plea from Jack Greene, who's scheduled to be executed Thursday night. Greene's attorneys say justices should halt the execution and review a lower court's decision to dismiss his challenge of a state law that gives Arkansas' top prison official the authority to determine whether he is competent.

Greene's attorneys say the inmate suffers from delusions. Greene, who's from North Carolina, was sentenced to die for the 1991 death of Sidney Burnett, who was beaten with a can of hominy, stabbed and shot.

Greene's execution would be Arkansas' first since it put four men to death in April.

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