Arkansas state officials are promising to continue fighting for scheduled executions after two others were halted by the Arkansas Supreme Court last week in a move Christian anti-death penalty activists celebrated.
"I will continue to respond to any and all legal challenges brought by the prisoners," Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement late on Monday. "The families have waited far too long to see justice, and I will continue to make that a priority."
An Arkansas Supreme Court judge stayed the scheduled execution of two inmates hours before one was set to take place after laywers questioned their mental competency.
Before the halt, Arkansas was set to execute seven inmates starting Monday.
Two executions are scheduled for Thursday, two on April 24, and one on April 27.
Shane Claiborne, Christian writer and activist who has long campaigned against the death penalty, has been organizing opposition to Arkansas' executions.
No executions in Arkansas yesterday! It's still going to be a long week fighting for life. Keep up the momentum!— Shane Claiborne (@ShaneClaiborne) April 18, 2017
The initial rush to carry out eight executions in four days was caused by the looming expiration date of the hard-to-find lethal injection used to execute inmates.
Faith leaders like Sr. Helen Prejean and Christian writer Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove are calling for continued action to end all of the scheduled executions.
Folks might disagree about the death penalty, but I think we can all agree that @AsaHutchinson's killing spree is bad branding for Arkansas.— Sister Helen Prejean (@helenprejean) April 18, 2017
You can't worship an executed Savior on Sunday & carry out a death sentence on Monday. You have to choose, @AsaHutchinson.— J Wilson-Hartgrove (@wilsonhartgrove) April 17, 2017
Activists continue fighting the state's scheduled executions, the next of which are set for Thursday.
Reuters reporting contributed to this story.