Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

The booming business of cannabis in Spain

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tanzanian President dismisses almost 10,000 public servants over forged college certificates

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French Election: Abstention, Anger & Apathy

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Macron vs. Le Pen: France's bitter presidential run-off race (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump's First 100 Days, The Pope in Egypt (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Egypt's Coptic Christians targeted by Islamic State group

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

France's wartime past takes centre stage in presidential campaign

Read more

#TECH 24

How one NGO is using 3D printers to improve disaster relief

Read more

REVISITED

What remains of Nicaragua’s revolution?

Read more

Arkansas carries out first of planned executions

© Arkansas Department of Correction/AFP/File | US state of Arkansas executed Ledell Lee, (R top) after US Supreme Court rejected an 11th-hour stay, part of a plan to execute eight prisoners by the end of the month

WASHINGTON (AFP) - 

The US state of Arkansas carried out its first execution in nearly a decade, the state's attorney general said, proceeding despite criticism that its controversial plan to execute several prisoners by the end of the month was rushed.

Ledell Lee, 51, was put to death late Thursday night after the US Supreme Court rejected eleventh-hour requests to stay the execution. He received injections of three drugs, including one that has sparked sharp legal debate.

Another day of intense legal wrangling kept Lee alive until just before his death warrant expired at midnight. The nation's top court as well as a US district court issued temporary execution stays as they analyzed the case -- but ultimately all were lifted.

"Tonight the lawful sentence of a jury which has been upheld by the courts through decades of challenges has been carried out," Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement released after the execution, the state's first since 2005.

Three more men are currently slated to die before the end of April. The state originally scheduled an unprecedented eight executions within an 11-day window, but several are now tied up in the courts.

The Arkansas governor has said the execution schedule is necessary, as the state's supply of a controversial sedative will expire at the end of the month.

Many of the legal clashes over Arkansas's plan focus on use of the drug midazolam, a sedative meant to render a condemned person unconscious before other drugs stop the heart.

Critics say it does not always adequately sedate prisoners, potentially causing undue suffering.

© 2017 AFP