Arkansas attorney general candidates want to see executions - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Arkansas attorney general candidates want to see executions

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(KATV)-Arkansas hasn't executed a prisoner since 2005. All of the Attorney General candidates would like to see executions carried out in the state, but one would like to see the return of the electric chair.

Arkansas has 37 inmates awaiting execution on death row. The average inmate has been there 15 years, six of them have been there more than 20 years.

Law suits by inmates challenging the medical procedure, lawsuits requiring legislation showing more details of the process, even lawsuits requiring doctor's names who administer the injection be released, are just a few of the challenges that have halted executions.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel testified last year before the joint judiciary committee that even if all of the stipulations were met, "inmates would file yet another suit tomorrow, challenging yet another aspect of the medical procedure."

There are three Republican candidates in the primary Leslie Rutlege, a former prosecutor endorsed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Patricia Nation, and Army veteran and lawyer, and David Sterling, a North Little Rock lawyer. Democrat Nate Steel, a prosecutor and state representative is unopposed. All agree executions should resume.

"My opinion is formed as a prosecutor and seeing the worst of what the victims have to go through," Steel said.

"I do believe the death penalty is a deterrent for criminals that have committed such heinous acts," Rutledge said.

"People who commit these crimes. They need to be punished," Nation said. 

But the other road block is the drug commonly used is no longer available. The FDA won't allow it to be imported and several of the candidates want to see the drug cocktail changed. 

Arkansas law says if lethal injection isn't available, the fall back method is the electric chair, something sterling says he supports.

"It is prescribed under Arkansas law and i think we should move forward with Arkansas law and carry out these penalties," Sterling said.