Arkansas executions: One inmate could be spared death

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Jason McGehee (bottom left) could be spared lethal injection, but all eight men are scheduled to die

One of eight inmates due to be put to death by the US state of Arkansas this month could be given clemency.

The Arkansas Parole Board has recommended mercy in the case of Jason McGehee, who was convicted of torturing and killing a teenager.

It will now be up to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to decide whether the 40-year-old escapes lethal injection.

The unprecedented series of executions within a 10-day period starting on 17 April is due to a drug expiring.

The state’s supply of midazolam, a sedative used in its three-drug lethal injection cocktail, will be useless after this month.

Lawyers for the prisoners say the “assembly-line” of four double lethal injections is unconstitutional.

The lawyer for McGehee, John Williams, said his client was only 20 at the time of the offence and “his near-perfect record in prison has impressed many people”.

Two of his co-defendants received lesser sentences despite being equally or more culpable, said Mr Williams, who asked the governor to commute the sentence to life without parole.

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AP

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Arkansas has not executed an inmate since 2005

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