LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday denied requests by a death-row inmate to block his scheduled execution and hear a new appeal in his case.
Without comment, the state’s top court denied motions by Jason Farrell McGehee, 40, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection on April 27 for the 1996 slaying of John Melbourne Jr. in Boone County.
McGehee is one of eight inmates for whom Gov. Asa Hutchinson set April execution dates after the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld Arkansas’ lethal-injection law.
An attorney for McGehee argued in the motions that verdict forms from McGeheee’s trial show that jurors refused to consider all but one of the mitigating circumstances McGehee’s trial lawyer sought to show.
The trial judge’s failure to note and correct the error constituted a breakdown in the process sufficient to stay McGehee’s execution, his attorney argued.
The court was divided on the ruling. Chief Justice Dan Kemp and Justices Shawn Womack, Karen Baker and Rhonda Wood voted to deny; Justices Courtney Goodson, Josephine Hart and Robin Wynne favored granting the motions.