Arkansas carries out double execution

Posted May 03, 2017

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmate Jack Jones, who is one of two Arkansas killers set to die Monday, April 24, 2017, in the nation's first double execution in more than 16 years.

"Tonight was another opportunity for justice, and that's what was carried out", said J.R. Davis.

Williams' death made for the first double execution to be carried out in the USA for 16 years.

Williams was sentenced to death in 1997 for kidnapping, raping and murdering Stacy Errickson.

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. The number of executions has fallen every year since 2009, (except 2012, when it stayed the same).

In the case of Williams, it wrote that the convict "has a long (and all too often successful) history of using piecemeal and dilatory litigation to manipulate the judicial process and prevent Arkansas from carrying out his just and lawful execution". And after five or six minutes after the execution drug was injected, "Mr. Jones was moving his lips and gulping for air", which lawyers say "is evidence of continued consciousness".

Lacey Seal, who was 11 when she was beaten by Jones, released a statement to reporters saying "I am glad it's done", she said. "It's a good thing that it's done, for her", Whitaker told CNN affiliate KARK. Authorities initially planned to put eight men to death before April 30, when the state's supply of midazolam expires. The filing also argues that "the state and crime victims have a profound interest in the timely implementation of a valid and final death sentence".

"A governor never asks for this responsibility, but I accept it as part of the solemn pledge I made to uphold the law". Jones was given the death penalty for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips.

According to court records, Jones stalked and killed Phillips, a book-keeper, and before killing her, he beat her 11-year-old daughter so severely that police thought she was dead when they got to the scene. She was strangled to death with a coffee pot cord while her daughter Lacey was tied to a chair.

Yesterday's plans materialised as two inmates received lethal injections about three hours apart in Arkansas' first double execution in the U.S. since 2000. Marcel Williams, 24 at the time, forced her into his vehicle at gunpoint, drove her to several ATMs to make a total of 18 transactions, then raped her, strangled her in an abandoned storage shed, and buried her body in a shallow grave in North Little Rock. Other companies, Fresenius Kabi USA and WestWard Pharmaceuticals, filed a brief lawsuit arguing contracts prohibit their products from being used in executions.

Jones ate three pieces of fried chicken, potato logs with tartar sauce, beef jerky bites, three Butterfinger candy bars, a chocolate milkshake with Butterfinger pieces and fruit punch. Williams had fried chicken, banana pudding, nachos, two sodas and potato logs with ketchup, Graves added.

The state's next scheduled execution is Thursday.

After going almost 12 years without executing an inmate, Arkansas now has executed three in a few days - including two in one night. The US Supreme Court denied those claims without comment. Arguments are scheduled for Monday. Ledell Lee was executed by lethal injection on April 20. Before this month, Arkansas hadn't executed anyone since 2005.

The twin executions followed a flurry of unsuccessful appeals earlier on Monday to the US Supreme Court and the Arkansas Supreme Court.

James Clark, senior campaigner at Amnesty International USA, said: "Arkansas continues its shameful backslide against prevailing trends away from the death penalty".

Arkansas' last double execution was on September 8, 1999, according to the Department of Corrections. The U.S. was the first to develop the method of lethal injection.

Rarely do we execute men or women whose "extreme culpability makes them the most deserving of execution", as the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires.