Despite the current federal injunction on executions, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge continues to litigate around the clock to keep other doors open to state killing as much as possible.
Late today the office announced it had asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to lift the stay the execution it granted Friday to Bruce Ward, who had been scheduled to die Monday. Ward’s attorneys are making the claim he is mentally incompetent to be executed.
Rutledge is having none of it. Ward waited too long to make the claim, she says. She also defends the state law that puts the evaluation of insanity in the hands of the state prison director, not a court.
The state argues that evidence of Ward’s delusional characteristics were considered when he was tried and he hadn’t made a sufficient showing that he deserved further consideration of his mental status. It said he hadn’t exhausted administrative remedies and the latest civil rights claim is just an attack on the conviction, which has been decided..
The state’s motion aims to preserve the ability to kill Ward Monday should the federal injunction be lifted between now and then.