GRADY (KFSM) — The execution of death row inmate Don Davis will not take place on Monday (April 17) as scheduled.
The Arkansas Supreme Court granted stays of execution for Davis and Bruce Ward on Monday afternoon. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge requested the US Supreme Court overturn the ruling for Davis.
However, the Supreme Court denied the request to overturn the ruling after deliberating down to the wire, finally making the decision around 11:45 p.m.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson released the following statement:
“The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to vacate the Arkansas Supreme Court decision in reference to Don Davis. I am disappointed in this delay for the victim’s family. However, the 8th Circuit decision today overturning Judge Baker’s stay and the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling vacating Judge Griffen’s temporary restraining order mean that the courts have once again cleared the state to proceed with carrying out the sentences of the other inmates. While this has been an exhausting day for all involved, tomorrow we will continue to fight back on last minute appeals and efforts to block justice for the victims’ families.”
Since Davis’ and Ward’s execution orders expired at midnight, they will not be put to death in April, said a JR Davis, a representative of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office.
Davis said that a jury in Arkansas and Arkansas law provided these families with this sentence, and they’ll have to continue their 27-year wait for justice. He asked people to keep the victims’ families in mind following the ruling.
Rutledge did not request an appeal for Ward, as this was the second stay of execution the state supreme court granted him.
Davis and Ward were the first of seven inmates scheduled to be put to death from April 17-27. The next death row inmates to be put to death are Stacey Johnson and Ledell Lee on Thursday (April 20).