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Beebe to hold off on scheduling executions

Posted: June 18, 2013 at 10:46 a.m.

Gov. Mike Beebe doesn't have any immediate plans to schedule executions for seven death row inmates even though the attorney general had asked him to set dates.

Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample on Tuesday said that the governor's decision to hold off on setting execution dates comes as the Department of Correction plans to rewrite its lethal injection protocol and as nine death row inmates challenge the state's new execution law in court.

The Department of Correction plans to rewrite its lethal injection procedure to include a different drug.

The state previously said it planned to use phenobarbital in executions, even though that drug has never been used in a U.S. lethal injection.

Arkansas last executed a condemned prisoner in 2005.

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