UPDATE: Ark. Senate panel approves death penalty bill

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas Senate panel has approved legislation rewriting the state's lethal injection law, which was thrown out by the state Supreme Court last year.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to advance a bill that spells out how the Arkansas Department of Correction is to carry out executions. Last year the state Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature could not leave it up to the Department of Correction to choose the chemicals used to execute an inmate.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel told lawmakers he believes the bill resolves the court's concerns and will allow the state to resume executions that are constitutionally-sound. The proposal specifies that the state use a lethal dose of a barbiturate.

Republican Sen. Bart Hester is sponsoring the bill, which now heads to the Senate.

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