Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Arkansas AG candidate calls for return of electric chair

The four candidates running for Arkansas attorney general agree they want to resume executions that have been halted for nearly a decade by court challenges and shortages of the drugs used for lethal injections.
However, one candidate, David Sterling, said he thinks the state should look to electrocution to carry out the death penalty while the state's lethal injection law remains in limbo. Sterling is running against Leslie Rutledge and Patricia Nation for the GOP nomination. State Rep. Nate Steel is the only Democrat running for the post.
"The electric chair is still authorized to be used in executions in the state of Arkansas. The electric chair has withstood constitutional scrutiny throughout the country for many, many decades. And so with it being available as a method of execution, I'm not sure why we're not employing it," Sterling told The Associated Press last week.
Sterling raised the electric chair as a possibility while he talked about how to restart the state's executions. Arkansas has 33 inmates on death row, but hasn't executed anyone since 2005.
Arkansas hasn't used electrocution to execute anyone since 1990, and the state's electric chair now sits in a museum.
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