"Beebe: Would sign death-penalty ban," is the title of John Lyon's Arkansas News Bureau report.
Gov. Mike Beebe said Wednesday his thinking on capital punishment has evolved to the point that he would sign legislation to repeal the death penalty if the Legislature sent him a bill.
Beebe also said he would prefer to see more resource officers in Arkansas schools than an influx of armed volunteers.
The governor’s comments came during an appearance at a meeting of the Political Animals Club at the Governor’s Mansion.
Beebe, in the middle of his second and final term as governor after 20 years in the state Senate and four years as state attorney general, said his evolution on the death penalty was not philosophical.
“What caused me to come to that way of thinking is how I felt when I had to sign a death warrant,” he said.
Beebe has signed four death warrants since he became governor in 2007, although no one has been put to death on his watch because of pending litigation.
The AP filing is, "Beebe says he'd sign bill outlawing death penalty," via KTHV-TV.
Gov. Mike Beebe says he would sign legislation outlawing Arkansas' death penalty - but a spokesman says the governor won't make it a part of his legislative package for this year's session.
The Democratic governor says his feelings on the death penalty have evolved since he took office in 2007. Beebe has signed four death warrants - but none was carried out because of various court challenges.
Afterward, Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said Beebe didn't plan to ask anyone to introduce such legislation.
Arkansas last executed an inmate in 2005. Last year, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the state's execution law and lawmakers are expected to rewrite it this session.
Earlier coverage from Arkansas begins at the link.