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Execution proposal OK'd by Senate panel

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 30, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.

— An Arkansas legislative panel has approved a proposal to allow certain relatives of victims to attend executions despite opposition from the Department of Correction.

The Arkansas Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday passed a measure that would allow some adult relatives of victims to watch executions in person. Current law says adult relatives of victims can watch executions on a closed-circuit TV.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Dina Tyler spoke out Wednesday against the proposal filed by Republican Sen. Bart Hester of Cave Springs.

Tyler says the execution chamber is a very small room and that emotions run high during executions.

The measure now heads to the Senate for a vote.

Arkansas doesn’t have any pending executions. The state Supreme Court struck down Arkansas’ lethal injection law last year.

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