On Monday, the state of Arkansas carried out the nation's first double execution in seventeen years, executing Marcel Williams on the same gurney Jack Jones was killed on just hours earlier.
After requests to stay both executions failed, the Arkansas Department of Corrections administered lethal injections to both men Monday night. Williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m., 17 minutes after the procedure began.
Eight years later, awaiting execution on Arkansas' death row, Jones pleaded guilty to the 1991 rape, beating and strangulation of a 32-year-old Pennsylvania woman, Lorraine Barrett, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after DNA evidence implicated him.
He was sent to death row for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips.
U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker had said earlier this month that Arkansas' execution protocol doesn't outline what would happen if the inmate were to remain conscious even if given a double dose. The state's supply of the lethal injection drug midazolam was set to run out by the end of the month and Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued an order in February, allowing for the eight men to be executed in such a short span.
The first three executions were canceled because of court decisions, then inmate Ledell Lee was executed last week. Another federal judge denied a stay on Sunday, and a third judge on Sunday refused to change the rules that govern execution witnesses.
In the emergency filing, Williams' attorneys wrote that officials spent 45 minutes trying to place an IV line in Jones' neck before placing it elsewhere.
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 AP a year ago used redacted drug labels to identify Hospira, which was purchased by Pfizer, as the likely manufacturer of Arkansas' vecuronium bromide.
FILE - This combination of file photos shows one of the three drugs that the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) purchased to perform several executions.
Attorneys for both men had sought stays on the grounds that their medical conditions might interfere with the three lethal-injection drugs, making their deaths extremely painful. Arkansas' next scheduled execution is on Thursday. The Supreme Court blocked four of the rushed executions, the Times reports.
She was strangled to death with a coffee pot cord while her daughter Lacey was tied to a chair.
"The sentences of Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are another heinous example of how the death penalty is applied to people with severe mental impairments and history of abuse", Clark continued.
Williams did not offer any last words, witnesses told local media.
"I wish I could take it back, but I can't", Williams told the board.
In a letter to the Arkansas Board of Parole, Jones wrote he "is haunted by what he did to Mrs. Phillips and the child", his lawyer, Jeff Rosenzweig of Little Rock, said in an interview.
Through his lawyer, he published a statement, which said: "I want people to know that when I came to prison I made up my mind that I would be a better person when I left than when I came in".
The last state to execute two convicts in one night was Texas in August 2000.