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Arkansas executes 2 inmates on the same gurney, hours apart


Arkansas will become the first USA state in 17 years to hold two executions on the same day, if two inmates are put to death as planned on Monday evening.

Arkansas carried out back-to-back executions on Monday night, administering lethal injections to two men convicted of rape and murder to become the first USA state to put more than one inmate to death on the same day in 17 years.

Williams was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of Stacey Errickson.

Two inmates were given lethal injections about three hours apart as Arkansas completed the first double execution in the USA since 2000.

Following Jones's execution, lawyers for Williams claimed officials spent 45 minutes trying to place an IV line in Jones's neck before placing it elsewhere.

Before Williams' execution began, a federal district court judge issued a temporary stay based on claims from Williams' lawyers that Jones' death was "torturous and inhumane". However, within a week the state is behind schedule and in a scramble, having only one execution completed, three more scheduled and four that are on hold as inmates exhaust their final appeals.

In recent pleadings before state and federal courts, the inmates said the three drugs Arkansas uses to execute prisoners — midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride — could be ineffective due to their poor health.

The double execution comes after weeks of legal battle that resulted in four of the eight scheduled capital punishments being called off.

Both men were served last meals on Monday afternoon, Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves said.

The two executions are just among 8 that have been scheduled within a span of 11 days.




"If there was one execution and witnesses had these observations there would have been time for the lawyers and experts to evaluate it and time for the court to consider it", said Dale Baich, an assistant federal public defender who witnessed Joseph Rudolph Wood's slow death in a lethal injection in 2014 in Arizona that involved midazolam, a drug Arkansas has used in its three executions over the past week.

Jones delivered about a two-minute final statement, ending with, "I'm sorry". Attorneys for Williams argued that it would not be easy finding a vein on the body of their client through which the lethal injection would be transfused since he weighed 180 kilograms.

The family of Stacy Errickson did not want to speak after Williams' execution.

Gina Grimm, daughter of inmate Jack Jones, touches a poster of those condemned to be executed outside the Varner Unit on Monday, April 24, 2017 near Varner, Ark. He was also accused of abducting and raping two other women earlier.

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".

Monday night, Jack Jones was executed for the 1995 murder of Mary Phillips. One convict was executed last week, while the fourth is scheduled to be executed on Thursday (27 April). It was the first double execution in the United States since 2000. "There was no constitutional violation in Jones' execution". Williams admitted responsibility to the state Parole Board last month.

Arkansas has now executed three inmates of the eight cases it plans to conclude in less than a fortnight. He then beat her 11-year-old daughter, Lacey Phillips, and left her for dead.

The last U.S. state to execute two convicts in one night was Texas in August 2000.

ANDREW DEMILLO: It was after a microphone was off so we don't know if he was saying something but there was moving for about 2 minutes. When he was returned to the death chamber, he was given a chance to speak last words, but shook his head no, the log of activities said.

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