Arkansas' attorney general is asking the state's governor to set execution dates for seven death row inmates.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel sent seven letters to Gov. Mike Beebe late Thursday requesting that execution dates be set for Don Davis, Stacey Johnson, Jack Jones, Jason McGehee, Bruce Ward, Kenneth Williams and Marcel Williams.
The Associated Press obtained copies of the letters on Friday.
As one of five Democrats who opposed expanding background checks for firearm sales, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas is facing pressure from gun control groups who are urging him to rethink a position they suggest could haunt him during his re-election bid next year.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns on Thursday brought the father of a student killed in the Newtown, Conn. school shooting last year to Arkansas in the hopes of arranging a meeting with the two-term senator.
A government report says the rate of suicide among middle-aged Arkansans rose by more than 50 percent percent from 1999 to 2010.
The Centers for Disease Control reported Thursday that there were 144 suicides among the 35-64 age group in 1999 for a rate of 14.8 suicides per 100,000 population. The report says there were 245 suicides in that age group in 2010 for a rate of 22.8 per 100,000 and an increase of 54.2 percent over the decade.
The CDC report is based on death certificates and says people ages 35 to 64 account for about 57 percent of suicides.
On the heels of last week’s legislative session where state lawmakers approved the “private option” health insurance plan, Arkansas Medicaid leaders are already working to move the proposal forward.
The new law, known as the Health Care Independence Act, outlines the framework for allowing Arkansas to use Medicaid expansion money from the federal government to subsidize health insurance for low-income workers in a forthcoming health insurance exchange.