Arkansas Executions
Arkansas governor spokesman J.R. Davis speaks after the news that the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the scheduled April 17, 2017, execution of Don Davis, scuttling efforts to resume capital punishment after nearly 12 years, in Varner, Ark.  John L. Mone—AP

Arkansas Supreme Court Grants Stay of Execution to Inmate Scheduled to Die

Apr 19, 2017

The Arkansas Supreme Court has halted one of two executions set for Thursday, saying the condemned inmate should have a chance to prove his innocence with more DNA testing.

Stacey Johnson claims that advanced DNA techniques could show that he didn't kill Carol Heath, a 25-year-old mother of two, in 1993 at her southwest Arkansas apartment.

In a 4-3 ruling late Wednesday afternoon, the state's highest court issued a stay for Johnson and ordered a new hearing in lower court for Johnson to make his claims.

Johnson was set for execution Thursday night along with inmate Ledell Lee, who is also seeking a stay in a separate case.

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