Execution proposal fails to clear Ark. House

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A proposal to allow certain relatives of crime victims to attend executions in Arkansas has failed to clear the state House of Representatives.

Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 48-13 in favor of the bill - three votes short of the 51-vote majority needed to pass it. The bill 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.

But Democratic Rep. John Walker of Little Rock said he's concerned that the families of condemned prisoners wouldn't also be afforded the same opportunity. He also suggested that fewer, not more, people should be allowed to view executions.

A Department of Correction spokeswoman has also expressed concerns about the bill.

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