3 Arkansas inmates press challenges in death penalty cases - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

3 Arkansas inmates press challenges in death penalty cases

(Source: AP Graphics Bank) (Source: AP Graphics Bank)

By KELLY P. KISSEL
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas inmates who came within hours of being executed last year are heading back to court in efforts to save their lives.

Lawyers for Bruce Ward and Don Davis are due before the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday to argue their poor mental health leaves them ineligible for the death penalty.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said states cannot execute the mentally ill. Ward and Davis say they did not receive assistance from independent health experts during their previous legal fights, as required by courts.

In separate sets of arguments to be decided later, Ward and Jack Greene say Arkansas' prisons director should not be allowed to determine whether they are sane enough to be put to death.

One of the three drugs Arkansas uses to execute prisoners expires March 1.

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