>> Convicted murderers, Bruce Ward and Don Davis, are waiting to find out if they will be executed tonight as previously scheduled. They are the first of eight inmates facing death in Arkansas, although a federal judge, over the weekend, temporarily blocked plans to execute them all over the next 11 days.
>> What do we want?>> Mercy.>> When do we want it?>> Now.>> The ruling came amid a growing outcry over the state's execution plan implemented to beat the April 30th deadline for the expiration date of midazolam, one of its lethal injection drugs. Now state attorneys must also address the judge's concerns that the plan would have deprived the inmates of adequate counsel.
Prison officials allow only a single lawyer to be present for any execution. But Arkansas governor, Asa Hutchinson, says the execution plan is about justice.>> I don't wanna go back to these victims' family and say, well, we're worried about how this looks or the speed of this, and so we're not going to be able to carry out the will of the jury and the courts in this sentencing.
The judge's ruling also raised questions about the effectiveness of midazolam, which has been used in botched executions in other states.>> The use of midazolam exposes the prisoners to unnecessarily painful death. And it's for that reason that the court entered a preliminary injunction stopping the executions.>> The state is appealing the decision.