Why not another drug for lethal injections? 

Why not another drug for lethal injections?

I've contacted both the governor's office and the attorney general's office to get more info on the current lethal injection debacle. I haven't heard back from the former, and was told by the latter that it only communicated with "state officials." I agree with Governor Beebe that capital punishment should remain an option for some crimes. What I don't understand is why our state must rely solely on the use of sodium pentothal as the key drug in lethal injections. My understanding is that its sole manufacturer is overseas and prohibits its use for this purpose. I know also that the European Union forbids its sale internationally for this purpose. U.S. states and other countries that have legalized euthanasia generally use either secobarbital or pentobarbital to cause death in a humane and effective manner without the need of additional drugs to stop respiration and heartbeat. If the European Union or the overseas manufacturer of sodium pentothal won't allow its use in lethal injections, why not substitute either of the above drugs in its place? Both are readily available in the U.S. and it would be hard to argue against them as humane alternatives to sodium pentothal. Any input from medical professionals on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Brad Bailey


DMV, fooled

Here is a license plate that did get by a clueless motor vehicle worker.

My son, Matt, upon returning to town after serving in the Marine Corps for six years, and, of course, being full of piss and vinegar, tricked the young DMV person into believing this: GO*NADS, "Go North Atlantic Defense Systems."

No, I did not make this up. It was issued to him shortly thereafter, then mounted on his car. Naturally, he got lots of horn toots and thumbs up. But mama said, "Don't hold your breath 'cause it will get stolen." Sure enough, after enrolling as a student at UALR, the plate disappeared in a week. It's probably hanging on some kid's wall. Oh, well. Now my son is a police patrolman. Heaven help the soul should the Marine/cop run into him!

Sandy Thomas

Little Rock

From the web

In response to the cover story, "Hog farm near the Buffalo River stirs controversy" (Aug. 15):

Very informative and well composed. The residents of Centerville have a Cargill hog farm situation with the owners wanting to expand a facility in an area that is closely populated. The permit is in the hands of ADEQ now and we are holding our breath and hoping that we have made our point with ADEQ, but I have a feeling that this permit will be rubber-stamped also. There needs to be a moratorium on these permits until there are proper rules and regulations in place. Cargill says that they don't plan on growing here. Hmmm. ...


Do the farm and Cargill have insurance that will cover any clean-up operation if there is a failure anywhere in the chain? What about family water wells? If a family can no longer use their well due to contamination will they receive payment? If the Buffalo is contaminated due to a failure will the farm or Cargill pay for monetary losses to those that make their living from the Buffalo? If the Buffalo is contaminated and it reaches the White River what then? In a perfect world there would never be an issue. This is not a perfect world and factory farms have a very BAD history in other states for "issues." I just do not want to paddle down the Poop-a-low.

Miss Ellie

I have seen the location of the hog farm and doubt seriously it would be capable of polluting the Buffalo, however the fields listed to be sprayed do have the capabilities of causing such damage to the river. What concerns me is when they test for any pollutants how will the Buffalo National River Park Service know the difference in the pollutants from the diluted hog waste and the 300 metric tons of chicken/turkey litter they (Park Service) sprayed on the Gene Rush area and the various hay fields that join directly on the river, which is mandatory to anyone that leases these fields. They must be fertilized each year per the lease agreement. This information can be obtained directly from the park if requested due to FOI act. This is done every spring and is usually prior to the spring floods when the fields joining the Carver area usually end up under water.


In response to Max Brantley's column, "Waltons attack Little Rock School District" (Aug. 15):

Is such an emotional outburst acceptable for a column in the Arkansas Times?

It is unfortunate that so many adults are unable to have an adult conversation about topics on which they feel strongly. I gather from this column that Mr. Brantley feels very strongly about the topics of charter schools, the Waltons, and education.

Certainly, Mr. Brantley's emotions come through clearly in the vitriol here; however, setting emotion aside for just a moment and speaking as an adult might, one may wonder:

1. What is so evil and prejudicial about setting up additional schools of choice in a city where the school system is widely recognized to be struggling — just as so many other urban school districts across America are struggling?

2. We know that competition works in other areas. Might it not also work in education? It appears that it has in at least some instances.

3. What is wrong with expanded opportunities for education? Surely if a student and his or her family can choose between options, this improves their opportunities. Particularly, if a student can choose between a struggling school and one that is having more success, would that not be a good thing?

4. Why does Mr. Brantley insist on defining fairness in terms of LACK of opportunity for everyone?

5. What is behind Mr. Brantley's objection to using private funds — whether from the Waltons or others — to look for ways to improve education and educational opportunities? Would he complain so if the Waltons were spending this money on improving healthcare? On low-income housing? On programs to improve marriages in low-income areas? Why single out education?

Terry Chaney

In response to "There she is, Miss Gay Arkansas America" (Aug. 15):

Arkansas is much more gay friendly than many other places in America.


Norman Jones "made" Arkansas gay friendly back when gay was not cool. Norman never backed down and supported gays. While at the same time showing Arkansas that being gay does not mean you are stupid either. Norman is a great businessman and will give you the shirt off his back. But in the end he will make money out of anything.


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