Arkansas Kills Two Men In "Inhumane" Double Execution
Apr 27, 2017, 02:09
Arkansas has become the first U.S. state in 17 years to execute more than one inmate on the same day.
Two death-row inmates in Arkansas were executed by lethal injection Monday night about three hours apart in the state's first double execution since 2000. Williams died at around 10:30 p.m. Jones's execution is reminiscent of the botched killing of Clayton Lockett, whose prolonged, mangled death by lethal injection in Oklahoma garnered worldwide headlines in 2014. Jack Harold Jones, 52, and Marcel Wayne Williams, 46, were both convicted of murder and rape.
Lawyers for the second of two prisoners scheduled to be killed by lethal injection by Arkansas state on the same day dramatically halted his execution after it was suggested the first execution had been botched. A judge temporarily blocked Williams' execution, but lifted the stay an hour later.
Williams, who weighed 400 pounds, probably needed a second 500 milligram dose of midazolam. Arkansas is ramping up its executions, scheduling eight over 11 days, because its lethal injection drug supply will expire at the end of the month. One drug supplier stepped forward this month to say a Department of Correction deputy had duped the company into supplying vecuronium bromide for executions a year ago. This urgency is being brought about by the fact that one of the 3 drugs that midazolam will be expiring on April 30.
The log says officials began the process of inserting IV lines at 9:35 p.m. and it wasn't complete until 10:15 p.m. Witnesses were not allowed to view this part of the process.
Before last week, Arkansas hadn't had an execution since 2005 or a double execution since 1999. He heard Jones deliver his last words from inside the death chamber, he said.
The inmates's lawyers fought for reprieves up to the last minute, but their final appeals were rejected by the courts. He used a wheelchair and he'd had a leg amputated in prison because of diabetes.
Jones also issued a written statement before he died, expressing remorse for his crime and saying he tried to reform himself while behind bars, KARK-TV reported.
"I'm glad that chapter is closed", she said Monday night. He was also convicted of abducting and raping two other women.
Williams argued that he would likely experience severe pain during the execution because of his medical conditions, and that the lethal injection amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
Jones was sentenced to death for the June 6, 1995 murder of Mary Phillips, a bookkeeper whom he admitted raping and strangling to death with a coffee pot cord while her 11-year-old daughter, Lacey, lay unconscious after he beat and choked her.
But Williams' lawyers said Jones' execution appeared "torturous and inhumane" because infirmary staff struggled to insert a central line in his body through which to administer the drug.
Republican Rep. Kim Hammer, who witnessed both executions Monday night, said he did not see Jones gasp or gulp for air.
However, he said that he prospect of the man's execution, which arose and disappeared continuously, "means reliving the hurt of the murder itself, and that every stay of execution now feels like an insult to his wife".
Last minute appeals had delayed the execution, which had been scheduled for one hour after Jones's execution. "I wish I could take it back but I can't".
The inmates also sued over the sedative used in the three-drug protocol.
The letter, which his attorney read aloud at his clemency hearing, went on to say: "I shall not ask to be forgiven, for I haven't the right".
Including Jones and Williams, nine people have been executed in the United States this year, four in Texas, three in Arkansas and one each in Missouri and Virginia.
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