Ark. corrections board backs change to executions

Chuck Skoro, left, and Greg Franz, both of Boise, Idaho, join a small group of protesters outside the Idaho Department of Corrections in opposition to the scheduled execution of Richard Leavitt on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 in Kuna. Prison officials declared Leavitt, 53, dead at 10:25 a.m. Tuesday by lethal injection at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution. It was only Idaho’s second execution in 17 years. Leavitt was convicted of stabbing 31-year-old Danette Elg, of Blackfoot, in 1984. Leavitt's execution marked the first time witnesses had full viewing access to a convicted killer's lethal injection after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a few days before the execution sided with The Associated Press and other news organizations seeking full viewing access to a convicted killer's lethal injection.

HOT SPRINGS  — The Arkansas Board of Corrections is backing a push to move from a three-drug cocktail to a single drug in lethal injections.

Department of Correction spokeswoman Shea Wilson says the board voted Friday to back the attorney general's office going forward with legislation that would involve a single-drug protocol in executions.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's spokesman Aaron Sadler says legislation could be filed in the next week or two.

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The move comes after the Arkansas Supreme Court last year threw out the state's lethal injection law, siding with death row inmates who said it violated part of the state's constitution that deals with separating the branches of government.

Wilson says the board hopes that narrowing the drug protocol will take care of the court's concerns.


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