Arkansas executes another inmate

Darin HammondApr 27, 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. He was pronounced dead 17-minutes after the procedure began at the Cummins unit in Grady.

Williams' attorneys briefly stalled the man's execution after they raised concerns about how the prior execution was carried out.

Attorneys had claimed in court papers that infirmary staff tried unsuccessfully to place a central line in Jones' neck for 45 minutes before placing one elsewhere on his body.

Williams weighed 400 pounds, and his attorneys had argued that his lethal injection could cause excessive pain because of his health.

It was the latest episode in a running legal battle over Arkansas's drive to execute eight convicted murderers in 11 days to beat the expiration date on its stock of midazolam, a hard-to-replace sedative used in the lethal injections.

The initial 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. Oklahoma had planned a double execution in 2014, but did not carry out the second one as the first execution went awry.

Both said in unsuccessful legal challenges that they suffered from diabetes and other medical issues and that killing them with the state's lethal injection cocktail would be cruel and unusual punishment.

Both the death row inmates were served their last meals on Monday afternoon, Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves told the news agency. The order was lifted at approximately 9:30 p.m. CST and the execution proceeded.

Arkansas Supreme Court last week threw out the manufacturer's lawsuit, which had argued that the state did not make clear it wished to use the supplies for executions.

The 8th Circuit rejected Jones' stay request; a decision was still pending there as of midday Monday for Williams.

He also abducted and raped two other women.

Jessie Turnure, from our NBC Affiliate in Little Rock, was on the other side of the glass when Williams took his final breath.

Jones was sent to death row for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips.

Jones was convicted in 1996 of raping and murdering Mary Phillips in the accounting office where she worked as a bookkeeper.

The logs indicated that it took less than 10 minutes to hook up the catheters to IV lines in Jones' arms just before the execution, though Jones' attorney said the lines themselves were inserted earlier Monday rather than at the execution chamber. She was strangled to death with a coffee pot cord while daughter Lacey was tied to a chair.

After seeing his lips moving during his death, inmates' attorneys filed a complaint to stop the second scheduled execution of the night, Marcel Williams. There were questions as to whether or not Jones' execution was painless and humane.

"It was after the microphone was off so we don't know if he was saying something... but it was moving for about... what would you say two minutes".

Lawyers for Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are seeking stays of execution on grounds of poor health. U.S. District Judge Price Marshall Jr. put the execution on hold this month after the state Parole Board recommended Gov. Asa Hutchinson grant him clemency.

Monday marked the first double execution in the USA since 2000, and the questions surrounding Jones' execution shows why they've become rare, experts say.

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.

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.

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