New Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch cast the deciding vote Thursday to permit Arkansas to proceed with the execution of Ledell Lee.
The state intends to carry out at least three more executions before its supply of a controversial execution drug expires, Bloomberg reported.
Gorsuch joined the right of the court–Justices Roberts, Thomas, and Alito–as well as Republican-appointed swing-vote Anthony Kennedy in voting to allow the execution to go forward. The court’s liberal wing–Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan–dissented, each voting to grant at least one of the stays.
“Apparently the reason the state decided to proceed with these eight executions is that the ‘use by’ date of the state’s execution drug is about to expire,” wrote Justice Breyer in explaining his vote. “That factor, when considered as a determining factor separating those who live from those who die, is close to random.”
Originally published by the Washington Free Beacon.