Updated: Monday, April 17, 2017 9:46 pm EDT
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the ruling of US District Judge Kristine Baker. Judge Baker had blocked all executions by ruling that midazolam had the potential to cause a cruel and unusual death in violation of the 8th Amendment. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the evidence presented did not adequately support Judge Baker's conclusion. However, the ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals does not affect the ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which has stayed Monday's execution of Don Davis and Bruce Ward. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is appealing the stay granted by the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Updated: Monday, April 17, 2017 1:20 pm EDT
Bruce Earl Ward was scheduled to be executed at 8 pm CDT, on Monday, April 17, 2017, at the Cummins Unit near Varner, Arkansas. His execution has been stayed. Sixty-year-old Bruce is convicted of the murder of 18-year-old Rebecca Lynn Doss in Little Rock, Arkansas, on August 11, 1989. Bruce has spent the lat 26 years of his life on Arkansas’ death row.
Prior to his arrest, Bruce worked as a perfume salesman from his motorcycle. Bruce had previously pled guilty in Pennsylvania on a manslaughter change for strangling a women who had left the bar with him.
During the evening of August 11, 1989, Bruce Ward drove around Little Rock, Arkansas allegedly looking for a victim. Teenager Rebecca Doss was working the night shift alone at Jackpot, a convenience store.
Little Rock Police Sergeant Michael Middleton, during his patrol, noticed that there was no one behind the counter at the store and went to investigate. When he was unable to locate the clerk, he called for assistance. While waiting, Sergeant Middleton discovered Ward exiting the men’s bathroom. Sergeant Middleton asked Ward about the missing clerk. Ward responded that the clerk was in the store and that he had just had a cup of hot chocolate and that the clerk had given him the key to the restroom. Rebecca’s body was subsequently discovered on the floor of the restroom, strangled to death.
Ward was arrested, tried, and convicted of Rebecca’s murder. He was sentenced to death.
Bruce Ward was scheduled to be executed on October 21, 2015. His execution was stayed, along with several others, by a judge with the Pulaski County Circuit Court. The execution was stayed due to legal challenges regarding the execution drugs.
Bruce's execution has been stayed by the Arkansas Supreme Court over claims of mental incompetently. Bruce's execution has been stayed to allow time for these claims to be considered in court. The Court has also rejected a request from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to lift the stay.
Don William Davis is also scheduled to be executed in Arkansas on Monday, April 17, 2017.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Rebecca. Please pray for strength for the family of Bruce. Please pray that if Bruce is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Bruce will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.