Arkansas has 1 execution still scheduled for Thursday
- Author: Nancy Warren Apr 27, 2017,
Apr 27, 2017, 2:14
Williams' eyes had shut at 10:17 p.m., one minute after the execution began, Giani said. Williams was executed about three hours later for the 1994 murder of a young mother.
Arkansas executed Jack Harold Jones on Monday night in the first of two executions scheduled for that evening.
Baker had temporarily halted Jones' execution after Williams' attorneys said Jones could be seen gulping for air five minutes into his execution. Williams' attorneys argued that "current circumstances demonstrate an ongoing constitutional violation-cruel, unusual, and inhumane infliction of pain and suffering upon Mr. Williams that is imminent based on the Jones execution". The eight executions would have been the most by a state in such a compressed period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. One drug supplier stepped forward this month to say a Department of Correction deputy had duped the company into supplying vecuronium bromide for executions past year.
Four of those executions have been put on hold by court order.
Both the death row inmates were served their last meals on Monday afternoon, Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves told the news agency.
"If there was one execution and witnesses had these observations there would have been time for the lawyers and experts to evaluate it and time for the court to consider it", said Dale Baich, an assistant federal public defender who witnessed Joseph Rudolph Wood's slow death in a lethal injection in 2014 in Arizona that involved midazolam, a drug Arkansas has used in its three executions over the past week.
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In his final words, Jones apologised to the young girl he left for dead, now a grown woman. But eye witness accounts described Jones's lips moving after he finished his last words but said there were no signs of distress, according to Reuters.
"I forgive my executioners; somebody has to do it", wrote Jones, who had a leg amputated in prison because of diabetes and uses a wheelchair.
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. He was also convicted of abducting and raping two other women.
Williams still has legal challenges pending in other courts.
He was convicted of the 1995 murder and rape of Mary Phillips and brutal assault on her daughter Lacy, 11.
"The sentences of Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are another heinous example of how the death penalty is applied to people with severe mental impairments and history of abuse".
Jones said earlier this month that he was ready for execution. Kenneth Williams, an intellectually disabled man who killed Cecil Boren in 1999 after escaping from prison where he was serving a life sentence for the murder of Dominique Hurd in 1998, is scheduled to die on April 27.
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Last minute appeals had delayed the execution, which had been scheduled for one hour after Jones's execution.
Statement written by Jack Jones just before his death.
They "did not wait 5 minutes to perform the consciousness check". An inmate in Alabama could be heard coughing for 13 minutes in his December execution, even without a microphone.
Arkansas had planned eight executions in 10 days before a drug used to sedate the inmates expires.
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". He strangled her with the cord to a coffee pot.
The last U.S. state to execute two convicts in one night was Texas in August 2000. "As far as we could tell, the inmate was not having any trouble throughout it. ..."
Williams weighed 28 stone (400 pounds) and his lawyers said it meant the line carrying the lethal drugs could be placed incorrectly and cause him damage like a collapsed lung.
Arkansas asks court to lift inmate's stay
On Saturday, the plaintiff in that drug case, citing Baker's decision, asked that the temporary restraining order be withdrawn. In the brief, the court said that the Arkansas Department of Correction " misled McKesson when it procured the Vecuronium ".