Beebe says he'd sign bill outlawing death penalty

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe says he would sign legislation outlawing Arkansas' death penalty - but a spokesman says the governor won't make it a part of his legislative package for this year's session.

The Democratic governor says his feelings on the death penalty have evolved since he took office in 2007. Beebe has signed four death warrants - but none was carried out because of various court challenges.

Beebe made the comments Wednesday in response to a question at a meeting of the Political Animals Club.

Afterward, Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said Beebe didn't plan to ask anyone to introduce such legislation.

Arkansas last executed an inmate in 2005. Last year, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the state's execution law and lawmakers are expected to rewrite it this session.

COMPLETE COVERAGEArk. governor signs lethal injection legislation (Feb. 20)Ark. House panel to vote lethal injection measure (Feb. 14)Ark. legislative panel approves execution proposal (Jan. 30)Capital punishment debated in Senate committee (Jan. 30)Execution legislation to be filed in Arkansas (Jan. 21)Ark. lawmaker proposes changes to lethal injection (Jan. 17)Beebe says he'd sign bill outlawing death penalty (Jan. 16)Execution issues likely on tap in Ark. session (Dec. 2)