LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Amid all the legal wrangling, there are high emotions on both sides of the death penalty debate.
Friday a rally bought hundreds of Arkansans out to the state capital voicing their opinion both for and against the death penalty. Saturday one city leader agreed with the decision by the federal court to halt the executions scheduled to begin on Monday.
In less than 48 hours eight executions are scheduled to begin. Little Rock Vice Mayor Kathy Webb is still sticking by her belief to not go through with the death penalty. This after Federal Judge Kristine Baker blocked Arkansas' plan to execute eight inmates by the end of the month, but Webb is saying the death penalty should be ruled out altogether and not be used in Arkansas.
"I like it when the eyes of the country are on Arkansas for positive reasons, not something like this,” Webb said. "I know that this is something that has weighed heavily on the governor and it is a tremendous responsibility."
Those for the death penalty like conservative Senator Jason Rapert took to Twitter soon after the decision by Judge Baker and Judge Griffen. Tweeting, "Abortions occur regularly at Little Rock #Abortion clinic KILLING innocent babies...where is the outcry for their life? #arpx.”
Another tweet this time from Senator Trent Garner calls for Judge Wendell's impeachment. Griffin joined protestors Friday by laying in a lawn chair in front of the governor's mansion.
"I would side with Judge Griffin and Judge Baker who question the constitutionally of the cruel and unusual punishment and the use of the particular drug for execution,” Webb said.
Now Webb is left hoping a decision will be made that will bring both ease to the families of the victims and Arkansans.
"While my heart goes out to victim's families of the crimes,” Webb said. “I don't think that taking another's life is a solution to their grief."
Friday's rally grew in size and stature when actor Johnny Depp came and spoke alongside Damien Echols. Echols walked off Arkansas' death row by taking what's called an "Alford plea.” Depp has been a supporter and friend of Echols for several years.
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