Judge's Ruling Could Delay Arkansas Execution

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Next month's execution of an Arkansas man sentenced to die for killing a farmer in 1992 is in question after a circuit judge ruled that the state's new execution procedures should have been subject to public comment before they were implemented.

In a ruling yesterday, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Timothy Fox barred the Arkansas Department of Correction from using the procedures in its execution of Frank Williams Junior. Williams faces a September 9th execution.

Williams was convicted of capital murder in the 1992 death of farmer Clyde Spence of Bradley.

Earlier this month, the Arkansas Board of Parole recommended that Williams be granted clemency. Governor Beebe has not yet acted on that recommendation.

Williams' lawsuit challenged the legality of the state's new execution procedures, which were implemented in May in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The state attorney general's office says it will appeal Fox's ruling. But they say Williams' execution will likely be delayed if the state high court doesn't expedite the case.

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