Arkansas executes first inmate since 2005

2017-04-21 07:21
In this April 18 2017 file photo, Ledell Lee appears in Pulaski County Circuit Court for a hearing in which lawyers argued to stop his execution. (Benjamin Krain, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

In this April 18 2017 file photo, Ledell Lee appears in Pulaski County Circuit Court for a hearing in which lawyers argued to stop his execution. (Benjamin Krain, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

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Varner - Arkansas has executed an inmate for the first time in nearly a dozen years as part of its plan to execute several inmates before a drug expires April 30, despite court rulings that have already spared three men.

Ledell Lee was pronounced dead at 23:56 on Thursday,  four minutes before his death warrant was due to expire. The 51-year-old Lee was given the death penalty for the 1993 death of his neighbour Debra Reese, whom he struck 36 times with a tyre tool.

Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before the end of April, when its supply of one lethal injection drug expires. The first three executions were cancelled because of court decisions.

Two more inmates are set to die on Monday, and one on April 27. Another inmate scheduled for execution next week has received a stay.


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