Beginning on April 17, the State of Arkansas plans to execute eight men in 10 days. This unprecedented number of four double executions will be more than any state has carried out since the death penalty was reinstated 40 years ago. Arkansas, which hasn’t executed anyone since 2005, is rushing the executions because the state just received one of the execution drugs and another drug is set to expire the end of April.
Numerous voices across the country have raised concerns about the rapid schedule. Dr. Allen Ault, a former warden of Georgia’s corrections where he oversaw five executions, wrote in a recent Time article that the schedule was “dangerous and risky”. He noted that the pace will put an extraordinary emotional burden on the men and women required to carry out the executions, and will increase the risk of mistakes.
In 2014, Oklahoma planned to execute two individuals in one night as well. The execution of the first inmate, Clayton Lockett, went horribly wrong and the second execution was put on hold. An Oklahoma commission later recommended that only one execution be carried out in a week to prevent mistakes.
Let your voice be heard! Contact Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, and ask him to stop this rapid execution rate.