VARNER, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas was able to conduct its first execution in nearly a dozen years despite a flurry of legal challenges that had spared three convicted killers, but courts still could scuttle the remainder the nation’s most ambitious death penalty schedule since capital punishment was restored in 1976. Ledell Lee was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. Thursday, four minutes before his death warrant was due to expire at midnight, capping a chaotic week of legal wrangling. Arkansas originally wanted to put eight inmates to death before the state’s supply of midazolam, one of three drugs used in its lethal injection process, expires at the end of April.
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