Paragould Senator Says He Won't Repeat Public Hangings Bill

FEBRUARY 16, 2006 - Posted at 8:08 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - State Senator Tim Wooldridge (D-Paragould), who is running for lieutenant governor, says his introduction of a bill in 1995 to reinstate public hangings was a way to focus on addressing violent crime.  The Democrat from Paragould says the bill didn't come close to passing and he says he will not introduce such a bill again.

Under the legislation, convicts would have been hanged on courthouse lawns.  Wooldridge amended the bill to offer the hangings as an alternative to electrocution or lethal injection.  He says he has since concluded that helping people rise from poverty is a better way to reduce violent crime.

Wooldridge says he'd heard that one or more opponents in the lieutenant governor's race want to use the bill as an issue against him.

Other Democrats running for lieutenant governor are Drew Pritt of Warren, state Representative Jay Martin, and former state Representative Mike Hathorn.  Seeking the Republican nomination are state Senator Jim Holt, state Representative Doug Matayo and former federal prosecutor Chuck Banks.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)