Arkansas has been racing against a self-imposed clock to execute eight death row inmates before its supply of the sedative midazolam expires on April 30. Four of the eight inmates scheduled for execution have received court reprieves, but on Thursday night, Arkansas executed Ledell Lee, 51, marking the state's first execution since 2005. He was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m., minutes before his death warrant expired. Earlier Thursday, the Arkansas Supreme Court had lifted a stay on using a second drug in the state's three-drug lethal-injection cocktail, vecuronium bromide, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to stay the executions of Lee and other petitioners, 5-4, with new Justice Neil Gorsuch siding with the court's four other conservatives.
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