The gov­er­nor’s legacy

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

At the most re­cent meet­ing of the Po­lit­i­cal An­i­mals Club in Lit­tle Rock, Mrs. An­nie Abrams, as cus­tom­ary, was given the first ques­tion to Gov­er­nor Hutchin­son. In her el­e­gant way, Mrs. Abrams asked the gov­er­nor what he’d con­sider his legacy. Laugh­ingly, he said he couldn’t com­pletely an­swer that as he planned to be around quite a bit longer.

I had the op­por­tu­nity, after his talk, to ask him di­rectly about his sched­ul­ing an his­toric eight ex­e­cu­tions of men in Arkansas be­tween April 17-27. I told him I am a mem­ber of the Arkansas Coali­tion to Abol­ish the Death Penalty and felt I had to ask him if he’d be present to wit­ness the ex­e­cu­tion of each of these eight men. He an­swered that he didn’t think it would be ap­pro­pri­ate. I strongly disagreed then, and I do now.

Gov­er­nor Hutchin­son, I must ask again: “Will you be present to wit­ness what oth­ers must carry out at your di­rec­tion—the death of eight in­di­vid­u­als?” Un­doubt­edly, a sig­nif­i­cant part of the an­swer to Mrs. Abrams’ ques­tion of your legacy as gov­er­nor will be the his­toric ex­e­cu­tion of eight men within a pe­riod of two weeks in Arkansas.

His­tory will not be kind to this ac­tion, I be­lieve, and Arkansas will be shamed by this no­to­ri­ety. You are a bet­ter per­son than to leave this legacy for your­self and your state. CARO­LINE STEVEN­SON

Lit­tle Rock

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