After running for governor as a supporter of the death penalty, Gov. Mike Beebe said recently that the experience of signing a death warrant for the first time caused his thinking on the issue to "evolve" and that he would sign legislation outlawing the punishment if legislators were to send him such a bill, According to The Associated Press.
The Democratic governor doesn't plan to make repealing the death penalty part of his legislative agenda for this year's session, nor does he intend to ask any lawmaker to introduce such legislation, Beebe's spokesman said. Several top lawmakers said it's unlikely legislators would propose a death penalty repeal.
Beebe said he changed his mind about the death penalty after having to sign his first death warrant, reported the AP.
"The awesome burden of being the last person to have to sign one of those things sobers you differently than talking about it in the abstract," Beebe said.
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