27 April, 2017
Details have emerged about the grim last minutes of one of two men executed in Arkansas on Monday night, as the state is set to put to death another inmate later this week.
The state of Arkansas executed two men, Jack Jones and Marcel Williams, late last night (24 April 2017) - the first double execution in the USA for 17 years. Attorneys for Marcel Williams, who was executed after Jones, said that Jones was moving his lips and gulping for air about five minutes into his execution.
It's the first time a state has executed two people on the same day since Texas killed two inmates in August of 2000.
A federal district court judge granted Williams a temporary stay but just after 9:30 p.m. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker lifted the stay.
Williams' attorneys said in an emergency filing late Monday that it took 45 minutes for prison staff to place an IV into Jones, possibly because of his overweight frame. Before his execution tonight in Arkansas, condemned inmate Jack Jones issued his final statement. https://t.co/lYwu66jCmZ pic.twitter.com/rBTzHkSJLO- Jim Roberts (@nycjim) 25 April 2017 Jones and Williams were among eight people that Arkansas had initially planned to execute over 11 days this month. The eight executions would have been the most by a state in such a short period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
In recent pleadings before state and federal courts, the inmates say the three drugs Arkansas uses to execute prisoners - midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride - could be ineffective due to their poor health.
Prison spokesman Solomon Graves said the policy has been in place since at least 1990, though he declined to produce a copy of the policy, which he said was exempt from public disclosure.
Williams was declared dead at 10:33 p.m., 17 minutes after the chemicals were released into his body.
Jones, his appeals exhausted and his execution cleared by the Supreme Court "had been pushed into the death chamber in a wheelchair having had one leg amputated as a result of diabetes", according to the Guardian. In his final statement, Jones apologized to Phillips' daughter, Lacy, who was 11 when she saw Jones attack then strangle her mother with a coffee-pot cord.
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Dunham said he did not know if other states turn off audio during the lethal injection process. "He never appeared to be in any distress or pain at all", Kelley said, offering the same observation for Williams' and Lee's executions, too.
"I'm glad that chapter is closed", she said Monday night. He was also accused of abducting and raping two other women earlier.
Marcel Williams was sent to death row for the 1994 rape and killing of 22-year-old Stacy Errickson.
The inmates also sued over the sedative used in the two-drug protocol.
The log provided very few details about Jones' execution beyond the start and end times, including whether he showed any signs of distress. His chest stopped moving two minutes after a consciousness check.
The nation's first double execution since 2000 was carried out in Arkansas on Monday despite substantial protest and the likelihood that the first execution was botched and inhumane.
As more pharmaceutical companies refuse to make drugs available for capital punishment, inmates have brought cruel and unusual punishment claims stemming from revised execution methods.
Williams' lawyers say he weighs 400 pounds and it will be hard to find a vein for lethal injunction, so the drugs are unlikely to work as intended.