Two weeks ago, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) said the state needed to re-open its discussion on the death penalty.
The state’s method of execution by lethal injection has come to a halt in large part due to a lack of the available drugs needed to carry the death penalty to completion.
Jacob Kauffman with our content partner, KUAR-FM 89 News, reports:
McDaniel told the joint Judiciary Committee the nationwide unavailability of the lethal injection drug, a lack of medical personnel willing to administer the dose, and a continuing stream of costly litigation has rendered the state unable to perform its duty.
Some lawmakers suggested other methods used elsewhere. McDaniel said those options carry many of the same problems as well as an additional burden of meeting what the court’s deem to be our evolving societal values.
“Of course we don’t know for sure how the courts would view an execution by firing squad, or gas chamber, or by electric chair. But I think I have a pretty good guess. Although the specific factual issues in a challenge to execution by one of those alternative methods would be different the legal issues regarding claims of cruelty and the possibility of undue pain or mistake would be exactly the same as the claims raised in the lethal injection cases,” said McDaniel.
Read what State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R-Little Rock), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, had to say on the subject at this link.