US

Arkansas execution protests less in streets, more in tweets

  • FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2015, file photo, Sister Helen Prejean, famous for the book "Dead Man Walking" about her work with death-row inmates, greets students and signs books after speaking at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Prejean, a death penalty opponent, has taken to Twitter to fight the scheduled executions of seven Arkansas death-row inmates before the end of April 2017. At times she has tweeted the phone numbers of Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2015, file photo, Sister Helen Prejean, famous for the book "Dead Man Walking" about her work with death-row inmates, greets students and signs books after speaking at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Prejean, a death penalty opponent, has taken to Twitter to fight the scheduled executions of seven Arkansas death-row inmates before the end of April 2017. At times she has tweeted the phone numbers of Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2012, file photo, documentary subject Damien Echols, from the film "West of Memphis," poses for a portrait in Park City, Utah. Echols, who spent nearly 18 years on Arkansas' death row before he and two others were freed in 2011 as part of a plea deal in which they maintained their innocence, is a vocal critic who plans to be in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday, April 14, 2017, for a rally to protest the scheduled executions of seven death-row inmates before the end of the month. (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2012, file photo, documentary subject Damien Echols, from the film "West of Memphis," poses for a portrait in Park City, Utah. Echols, who spent nearly 18 years on Arkansas' death row before he and two others were freed in 2011 as part of a plea deal in which they maintained their innocence, is a vocal critic who plans to be in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday, April 14, 2017, for a rally to protest the scheduled executions of seven death-row inmates before the end of the month. (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson prepares for a TV station interview at the Governor's Mansion on Thursday, April 13, 2017, in Little Rock. The governor met with reporters to discuss a series of seven upcoming executions. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)

    Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson prepares for a TV station interview at the Governor's Mansion on Thursday, April 13, 2017, in Little Rock. The governor met with reporters to discuss a series of seven upcoming executions. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)  (The Associated Press)

Outrage is growing on social media over Arkansas' unprecedented plan to execute seven inmates this month but the protests have been more muted within the conservative Southern state where polls show that capital punishment is still favored.

A few dozen people regularly have kept vigil outside Gov. Asa Hutchinson's mansion, and the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty hopes to draw hundreds to a Good Friday rally at the state Capitol. High-profile critics of the executions include the author John Grisham, freed death row inmate Damien Echols and Sister Helen Prejean, who was the subject of the movie "Dead Man Walking."

Still, the Little Rock protests so far have been fervent yet small. According to a 2015 University of Arkansas poll, more than two-thirds of residents supported capital punishment.