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.
The state of Arkansas executed two men, Jack Jones and Marcel Williams, late last night (24 April 2017) - the first double execution in the U.S. for 17 years.
Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m., about 14 minutes after the procedure began.
Williams was convicted for the 1994 murder and rape of 22-year-old Stacy Errickson.
Lawyers for the second of two prisoners scheduled to be killed by lethal injection by Arkansas state on the same day dramatically halted his execution after it was suggested the first execution had been botched.
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.
Jones spent at least two hours at the prison infirmary - where a medical professional pierced his neck but couldn't find a vein - before opting to instead have lines placed in each arm, Jones told his attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig, upon returning to his isolated cell shortly after 5 p.m. The attorneys argued that Williams, 46, who was also obese, could face a "torturous death".
Davis said the state will work on procuring the drug again and reschedule the executions when the stays and court cases are resolved. He's the last before the state's lethal injection drug supply expires at the end of the month.
In a statement issued late Monday, James Clark, senior campaigner with Amnesty International USA, said: "Tonight Arkansas continues its shameful backslide against prevailing trends away from the death penalty".
Williams' attorneys wrote in an earlier court filing that his "morbid obesity makes it likely that either the IV line can not be placed or that it will be placed in error, thus causing substantial damage (like a collapsed lung)".
On Monday night the state of Arkansas conducted the first double execution in 17 years. He is on heavy doses of drugs they say could prevent the lethal injection drug midazolam from working and lead to a "tortuous death".
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Lawyers for Jones argued that their client should not be put to death because diabetes, hypertension and many narcotics prescribed to him over the years would mean that "he is likely to be either not rendered unconscious and thus suffer a painful death in violation of the Eighth Amendment, or be left alive but brain damaged".
In addition to arguing that Williams and Jones would suffer unnecessarily due to their physical impairments, both men were said to have mental and emotional problems as a result of childhood abuse and trauma. 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.
A report released earlier this month by Amnesty International showed that for the first time since 2006, and only the second time since 1991, the United States was not among the world's five biggest executioners.
On Thursday night, Arkansas is scheduled to execute 38-year-old, Kenneth Williams. The state had initially planned to execute eight people within 11 days this month-an unprecedented rate of executions in modern US history.
There were no apparent signs of complications during Jones' execution, held Monday at the state's Cummins Unit in southeast Arkansas.
Lawyers for the men who are scheduled to die Monday have filed legal challenges based on the inmates' health, saying their poor physical condition could interfere with the lethal injection and subject them to extraordinary pain.
Instead, they claimed, he remained conscious, moving his lips and "gulping for air" after it was administered. He abducted Phillips and her 11-year-old daughter from an accounting office in 1995 and robbed them at gunpoint. Williams admitted responsibility to the state Parole Board last month.
The last USA state to execute two convicts in one night was Texas in August 2000.
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. We don't know, we weren't told if that's because there was a delay with putting the IV in.