Arkansas Supreme Court: Execution Law is Unconstitutional

Today the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the state’s execution law, calling it unconstitutional. The Court ruled the current law, passed in 2009, is unconstitional because it empowered the Department of Corrections to make execution policy, and under the Arkansas constitution only the legislature can make execution policy. Arkansas has not put anyone to death since 2005, and it is not immediately clear how today’s ruling will affect the 40 men currently on death row. The state could rely on a 1983 law, which adopted the lethal injection for executions, or amend the current law. —Alex Brown