Author John Grisham On Arkansas Execution Pace: 'No Death-happy State Has Ever Dreamed Of'

Apr 11, 2017
Originally published on April 10, 2017 12:49 pm

Arkansas-born, best selling author John Grisham penned an editorial in USA Today calling for a stop to Arkansas’s plan to kill eight death row inmates from April 17th to 27th. One inmate has a stay on his sentence. 

Arkansas’s rapid pace for executions has never been done in the modern era, since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty. Referring to the state of Texas, Grisham said Arkansas’s pace is one “no death-happy state has ever dreamed of.”

He noted oft-recited arguments that midazolam has a “wretched history” and that the state and staff is inexperienced and will be overstressed. Grisham echoed arguments being made in court, that the state is violating its own policies by truncating the clemency process.

Grisham wrote in his opinion piece that Governor Asa Hutchinson’s “reasoning is absurd” that it must be done because a drug is set to set to expire May 1st. He closed by asking, “Why assume so many risks in the name of expediency?”    

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