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Arkansas carries out 'first double execution' in U.S. since 2000

27 April, 2017, 02:08 | Author: Eddie Kim

Arkansas has become the first USA state in 17 years to execute more than one inmate on the same day.

Convicted murderers Jack Jones and Marcel Williams were administered lethal injections on Monday (24 April), which was the first double execution in the United States since 2000. Williams was convict ed in 1997 of murdering Stacy Errickson in 1994.

The execution of a second Arkansas man killed by lethal injection Monday was interrupted after lawyers claimed the first was still moving more than five minutes after he was issued a sedative.

Prior to the executions of the two men on Monday night, attorneys representing Jones had appealed on the basis that he would die painfully since there was a possibility he had a resistance to midazolam, one of the drugs used in the chemical execution.

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

Arkansas has executed three inmates under a plan that originally called for putting eight inmates to death before the state's supply of a lethal injection drug expires at the end of the month.

Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson said it is a serious and reflective time in the state but that residents should know that justice has been carried out. The Supreme Court blocked four of the rushed executions, the Times reports. The execution occurred very close to its scheduled 7 p.m. start, and prison officials had given no indication there had been a problem placing the IV line.

THE first double execution to be carried out in the USA in 16 years has been completed, but not without complication.

Before his execution, Jones delivered a two-minute final statement where he apologised to Phillips' family, ending with: I'm sorry. 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. Neither the media witnesses nor the attorneys had been allowed to witness officials place the IVs, per prison department policy, which a prison spokesman said also led officials to turn off an audio connection between the execution chamber and witness room shortly after Jones uttered his final statement. Jones and Williams committed their crimes more than two decades ago. He was also found guilty of abducting and raping two other victims.

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".

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

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Last month, an Amnesty International report said the USA has fallen outside of the top five countries for executions, for the first time since 2006.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected an inmate's requests to block his execution, scheduled for Thursday night.

Arkansas initially planned to execute eight inmates over 11 days before a drug used in executions could expire.

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.

Rutledge released another statement following Jones' execution.

They "did not wait 5 minutes to perform the consciousness check".

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".

The first three executions were canceled because of court decisions, then inmate Ledell Lee was executed last week.

Nine people have been executed in the U.S. so far this year, including Jones and Williams.

"As far as we could tell, the inmate wasn't having any sort of trouble throughout it", she said.

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