Appeals court rejects 1 challenge for inmate

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal appeals court has rejected a request to issue execution stays for a group of Arkansas inmates, including one scheduled for lethal injection Thursday night.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected requests from the inmates, who had challenged the clemency process they underwent after Gov. Asa Hutchinson scheduled eight executions to take place over an 11-day period.

Those challenging the policy include Ledell Lee, who is scheduled for execution Thursday night. He has other legal challenges pending but there are no stays in place that would stop his execution, which would be Arkansas' first since 2005.

Arkansas set the compressed timetable because one of its lethal injection drugs expires April 30. The first three executions were canceled because of court decisions. Legal rulings have put at least one other in doubt.