A new law passed by the legislature sets protocols for carrying out the death penalty in Arkansas.
Many, including the Arkansas Department of Corrections, are concerned about potential lawsuits as the state moves forward with lethal injections.
One of the main points of contention will be the drugs used for the lethal injection.
The new legislation gives the Arkansas Department of Correction options of using a barbiturate or a 3-drug cocktail.
The attorney general's office says it's waiting on ADC to pick which one it will use before sending the list of 8 to the governor to set execution dates.
But ADC says it's waiting for the attorney general's office to review the legislation and advise on how to proceed.
"We are aware that defense attorneys already have drafted a lawsuit that they plan to file when this bill is enacted," ADC spokeswoman Cathy Frye said in an email Friday. "We therefore have no immediate plans to develop a protocol."
As the state stumbles to find its way forward on this controversial issue, death penalty opponents are hoping something stops it.
"That would certainly be our fear now that we would start seeing executions carried out in the state of Arkansas," said Stephen Copley, chair of the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
The new legislation also contains a clause granting anonymity to suppliers of lethal injection drugs. However, the ADC still may have trouble finding them.
Many drug companies refuse to sell for use in executions, and this week the American Pharmacists Association told members no to sell for that purpose.
Source: localmemphis.com, April 5, 2015
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