LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The American Bar Association says it's troubled by Arkansas' unprecedented plan to execute seven men over a 10-day period beginning next week, telling the state's governor the timeline appears to put expediency above due process.
ABA President Linda Klein urged Gov. Asa Hutchinson in a letter dated Tuesday to modify the state's schedule for putting the inmates to death to allow for adequate time between executions. Hutchinson has scheduled the executions to occur before the state's supply of midazolam, a sedative used in lethal injections, expires at the end of the month.
“Because neither Arkansas decision-makers nor defense counsel currently have adequate time to ensure that these executions are carried out with due process of law,” said Klein, “we simply ask that you modify the current execution schedule to allow for adequate time between executions.”
In her letter, Klein noted that the ABA takes no position on the death penalty itself, but has long-standing policy supporting sufficient procedural safeguards to decrease the risks of injustice in death penalty cases.
The letter comes as a federal judge is holding a hearing over an effort by the inmates to halt the executions. Arkansas has not executed an inmate since 2005 because of legal challenges and drug shortages.