By ANDREW DeMILLO
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is a low-key former prosecutor known for delving into policy issues, but he has put himself and his state at the center of the national debate over the death penalty with his extraordinary plan to execute eight men before the end of the month.
The plan originally called for four double-executions, with the first two scheduled for Monday and the last two scheduled for April 27. But various courts have blocked some or all of the executions.
The state is appealing, as it hopes to put the men to death before its supply of an execution drug expires at the end of the month.
The aggressive plan has put an unusual spotlight on Hutchinson, who is preparing to launch a re-election bid after a legislative session in which he struck a moderate tone. He's mostly portrayed himself as a reluctant figure in the execution story merely carrying out a duty of his office.