Arkansas politicians mull options for death penalty

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July 26, 2013

Arkansas

By Joel Williams

Little Rock, Arkansas: Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) recently held talks with state lawmakers to try and address problems with the state's death penalty system. McDaniel cited legal challenges and a lack of drugs necessary to perform lethal injections as a reason why the state has not executed a death row prisoner in almost eight years. With thirty-seven death row inmates and no currently scheduled executions, some have begun to question the effectiveness of the current system. Execution law in Arkansas has come under scrutiny for a few years, with the Arkansas Supreme Court striking down the death penalty law in 2012 for giving too much control to corrections facilities, and the law proposed after that ruling has drawn similar criticism. Jeremy Hutchinson (R), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee spoke about the need to overhaul the system, saying that "we have juries who are rendering verdicts that we are not fulfilling, and that strikes at the very core and the trustworthiness of our entire criminal justice system."[1]

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