FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 22, 2014
Sterling announces plan to get Arkansas’ death penalty functioning
Republican Attorney General candidate David Sterling today proposed two solutions to the state’s stalled death penalty. Sterling’s plan includes a new drug used to carry out executions and confidentiality for the drug’s manufacturers.
“Arkansas’ death penalty system isn’t functioning for two reasons. First, the state is unable to acquire one of the primary drugs used in the execution process. Second, pharmacies who produce drugs for use in capital punishment fear retribution from anti-death penalty activists,” stated Sterling.
“As Attorney General, I’ll push for the use of pentobarbital in executions of convicted murderers. Ohio and Texas have both switched to this drug to render executions painless, and it has withstood legal challenges. I’ll also ask the state legislature to pass a law closing certain public records regarding individuals and businesses involved in manufacturing and delivering death penalty drug compounds from Freedom of Information requests. Tennessee has closed these records from public access. Arkansas should do the same making it easier for our state to contract with pharmacies for this critical product,” remarked Sterling.
“A properly functioning, timely-administered death penalty system is a deterrent to violent crime,” Sterling said. “Unfortunately, Arkansas’ capital punishment system isn’t working. As Attorney General, I’ll seek to implement common sense improvements allowing executions to resume and victim’s families to finally receive the closure they deserve,” Sterling remarked.