On Monday night, Arkansas executed Jack Jones and Marcel Williams, the first time two prisoners were executed on the same day since August 10, 2000 in Texas.
Convicted murders Jack Jones, 52, and Marcel Williams, 46, were executed just hours apart from each other as Arkansas rushes to use the state's supply of a key lethal injection drug before it expires at the end of the month. The AP reports that Williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m.
He was convicted in 1997 of murdering Stacy Errickson in November 1994.
VARNER, Ark. (AP) Two inmates received lethal injections on the same gurney Monday night about three hours apart as Arkansas completed the nation's first double execution since 2000, just days after the state ended a almost 12-year hiatus on administering capital punishment.
Williams's execution was briefly stayed by a federal judge until 8:30 p.m., but was lifted an hour later. In their motion they claimed that corrections officials spent 45 minutes unsuccessfully attempting to insert a central line into Jones's neck.
Williams, who weighed 400 pounds, probably needed a second 500 milligram dose of midazolam.
The double execution comes after weeks of legal battle that resulted in four of the eight scheduled capital punishments being called off. 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. Last year, there were 20 executions.
Drugs for lethal injections have been increasingly hard for states to obtain because "drug companies have refused to sell their products for the goal of executions", according to the New York Times.
Both Williams and Jones' lawyers challenged the use of midazolam to sedate the inmates, claiming their particular medical conditions would render the drug ineffective. He also issued a statement speaking about the execution of Williams and offered condolences to the victim's family.
Before he was executed Jones offered an apology to Phillips' daughter, Lacey Seal. He was also accused of abducting and raping two other women earlier. Both men had been found guilty of violent rape and murder of women, though their attorneys argued not enough had been done to defend both men during their trials, nor bring up pertinent evidence about their mental state and background which might have spared them the death penalty.
Jeff Rosenzweig, Jones' attorney, said in addition to Jones' lips moving after the statement he saw the inmate's mouth move five minutes into the execution three to five times.
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows death-row inmate Kenneth Williams, who is scheduled for execution on Thursday, April 27, 2017.
There were no apparent signs of complications during Jones' execution, held Monday at the state's Cummins Unit in southeast Arkansas.
Rutledge released another statement following Jones' execution. She was strangled to death with a coffee pot cord while her daughter Lacey was tied to a chair.
They "did not wait 5 minutes to perform the consciousness check". Williams admitted responsibility to the state Parole Board last month.
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".
Arkansas has now executed three inmates of the eight cases it plans to conclude in less than a fortnight.
The State of Arkansas has completed the first double execution in the United States since 2000 with the executions of Jack Jones Jr. and Marcel Williams.
And he said that witnesses hear the part of the only part of the execution that has sound, the inmates' last words. "We know this because it has happened before".