"Ark. AG Seeks Executions for 7 Felons," is Jeannie Nuss' AP report, via ABC News.
Arkansas' attorney general asked Gov. Mike Beebe to set execution dates for seven death row inmates, according to letters obtained Friday by The Associated Press.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel noted in the letters sent to Beebe late Thursday that six of the seven inmates are challenging the state's new lethal injection law and protocol, which calls for Arkansas to use a drug that has never before been used for lethal injections in the U.S.
However, McDaniel said there aren't any court orders in place preventing executions of those seven prisoners.
Arkansas hasn't put a prisoner to death since 2005, and for now, the state doesn't have any pending executions. That's expected to change, though it's not clear when.
Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said Friday that the governor will set execution dates, despite his misgivings about the death penalty. Beebe, a Democrat, said earlier this year that he would sign legislation abolishing capital punishment if lawmakers would send him such a bill. State Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, proposed just that, but the measure never made it to the governor's desk.
"Despite anyone's personal feelings about the death penalty itself, it's a very unique and different situation to be the person that has to sign that final warrant," DeCample said Friday. "That's what (Beebe's) facing doing now again and he will do it, but it is not by any means a pleasant experience."
"AG seeks execution dates for seven death-row inmates," is the Arkansas News Bureau post.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel asked Gov. Mike Beebe on Friday to set execution dates for seven convicted killers sentenced to death.
Six of the death-row inmates are plaintiffs in a legal challenge of Arkansas’ new lethal-injection law. The state Supreme Court recently declared their stays of execution from a previous case challenging Arkansas’ old lethal-injection procedure were no longer in effect.
In separate letters to Beebe naming each death-row inmate, McDaniel requested that the governor set execution dates “because there is currently no stay of execution in place regarding … conviction, sentence or the current lethal-injection protocol.”
Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said the governor would set the execution dates but would not set more than one execution on any particular day.
Jeff Rosenzweig, a Little Rock lawyer who filed the suit last week on the inmates’ behalf, said Friday he would seek to block any execution dates Beebe sets.
“I’m assuming the governor will set some sort of dates. If and when he does, we’ll move to stay” pending the outcome of the legal challenge of the new law, Rosenzweig said.
Earlier coverage of Arkansas lethal injection issues begins at the link.