Arkansas stages first double execution in United States in 17 years

Statement from Jack Jones before execution THV11

Statement from Jack Jones before execution THV11

Arkansas sought this month to carry out the nation's most ambitious execution schedule since the death penalty was restored in 1976.

Marcel Williams, left, and Jack Jones are seen in booking photos released by the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

It was a short reprieve.

KAUFFMAN: The U.S. district judge lifted the stay and Marcel Williams' execution went forward. The state pronounced Williams dead at 10:33 p.m., 17 minutes after the execution began.

Williams' attorneys said in an emergency filing late Monday night that it took 45-minutes for prison staff to place an IV into jones.

Intravenous lines are placed before witnesses are allowed access to the death chamber.

In recent pleas to state and federal courts, the two inmates said the three drug cocktail Arkansas uses could have been ineffective due to their poor health. The attorneys argued that Williams, 46, who was also obese, could face a "torturous death".

But amid public opposition to the death penalty lawyers obtained stays on four of those executions.

In a last-minute appeal, Williams' attorneys claimed Jones was still moving more than five minutes after he received a sedative, midazolam, that is supposed to render inmates unconscious.

Fifty two year-old Jake Harold Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 pm CDT, according to a timeline confirmed by the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Jones' execution provided attorneys an argument for halting Williams' execution, but also gave them a very narrow window to argue for sparing their client's life.

ADC spokesman Solomon Graves read a transcript of Jones' final statement to the media.

"I am not a monster; there is a reason those things happened that day", he said. Its lawsuit temporarily suspended executions until the Arkansas Supreme Court overruled a lower court decision that prevented the drug from being used. Williams died at around 10:30 p.m. Jones's execution is reminiscent of the botched killing of Clayton Lockett, whose prolonged, mangled death by lethal injection in Oklahoma garnered global headlines in 2014. I can't believe I did something to her. "There are no words that could fully express my remorse for the pain that I caused".

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has said the accelerated execution timetable is necessary as the state's stock of a sedative used in lethal injections will expire at the end of the month. He said while today is about the sentences of the death row inmates, he is thinking of his mother.

For his last meal, Jones had fried chicken, potato logs, beef jerky bites, Butterfinger bars and a chocolate milkshake. Williams had fried chicken, banana pudding, nachos, two sodas and potato logs with ketchup, Graves added.

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. Last Monday, the Arkansas Supreme Court granted a reprieve for two other of the condemned inmates - Don Davis and Bruce Ward - based on claims about their mental health, as well as a debate over whether expert witnesses can testify for both parties in a case.

Jones had also been on death row for more than 20 years.

Jones, 52, was sentenced to death for the 1995 rape and murder of 34-year-old Mary Phillips and for almost beating to death her 11-year-old daughter Lacey, whose testimony helped convict him. He strangled her with the cord to a coffee pot. She regained consciousness as police photographers took pictures of the crime scene.

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