Last week, the state Supreme Court struck down the Arkansas death penalty in a 5 to 2 ruling:
The court ruled 5 to 2 that the Legislature must set the quantity and type of drugs in a lethal injection. The 2009 law left those decisions to the director of the Corrections Department. The court sided with 10 death row inmates who challenged the law’s constitutionality.
Prison officials across the nation are grappling with a shortage of an anesthetic called sodium thiopental that is one of three drugs used in a lethal injection. The only American company that manufactured the drug stopped producing it in 2010, saying the active ingredient had become difficult to obtain.
Arkansas does not have any doses of the drug left, and its law does not specify whether a substitute is allowed. Although Arkansas is one of 33 states where the death penalty is legal, the state has not held an execution since 2005, while it has fought legal challenges.
Okay, if it’s getting so difficult to acquire what’s needed for executions and we haven’t been able to perform one in about seven years because of litigation, why not do the sensible thing and just leave the death penalty in Arkansas as it is now-abolished. Don’t get me wrong, I personally have no moral issues with executing a murderer or a child rapist or whatever. My concern is that innocent people might be wrongfully convicted and find themselves on death row, as has happened in this country before. So if it costs the state so much time and money, and there’s always the risk of executing innocent people, why not just leave the death penalty as is-defunct? Leave the scum of the earth locked away as they are now, unable to hurt society. It will save the taxpayer some money, the state some time, and it will make sure that Arkansas never executes an innocent person by mistake. Seems like the common sense approach. Unfortunately, that so rarely prevails in Arkansas.