Arkansas’ highest court decided to strike down a law which would have given the authority to determine if an inmate is mentally competent to be executed to the state’s prison director. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has urged the courts to reconsider.
On Monday, Rutledge urged the state Supreme Court to reconsider rulings which spared two death row inmates from execution last year. Bruce Ward and Jack Greene, both convicted murderers, were spared on grounds that the court could hear their case.
Just this month, the courts ruled that the competency law violates due process rights. These rights are outlined in both the Arkansas and U.S. Constitutions. On Monday, Rutledge made the case that the competency law could be applied in a way that is constitutional.