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Senate panel advances lethal injection bill

A senate panel advanced a bill Wednesday that could restart executions in Arkansas.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A senate panel advances a bill that could restart executions in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Supreme Court last year ruled the legislature gave too much leeway to the department of correction on how to administer the death penalty.

That resulted in the death penalty being halted until the legislature can pass a law that can survive a court challenge. The process started today.

Senate bill 73 now lists the specific chemicals the department of correction will use in lethal injections.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel told committee members he isn't testifying his opinion on the death penalty, but just make sure Arkansas death penalty law is enforceable.

McDaniel spoke with reporters after the Senate panel advanced the bill.

"We have eight inmates on death row currently whose appeals are exhausted, whose remedies are exhausted,” McDaniel says. “And if we have a constitutionally sound method that the courts won't stop then yes I will send a letter to the governor asking that he sign death warrants."

Arkansas hasn't executed a death row inmate since 2005.
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