USA judge orders post-mortem exam after inmate's execution goes awry

Williams reportedly scored a 70 on an IQ test, "squarely within the intellectual disability range" which would make him ineligible for the death penalty, the Fair Sentencing Project claimed.

Hutchinson and his staff worked late into the night around April's four execution dates, as lethal injections were delayed while judges deliberated, then were carried out just a few hours - or minutes - before midnight deadlines.

Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days, ending a frantic schedule as the state's supply of a sedative it uses in lethal injections expires at the end of April.

Attorneys leading that challenge didn't immediately respond to requests by The Associated Press for any plans to use what happened in Arkansas in their arguments to the appeal as court.

Williams' "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)", his attorneys wrote in an earlier court filing asking justices to block the execution. There were no dissents in the court's orders. "... reports from the execution witnesses indicate that Mr. Williams suffered during this execution". His death warrant was set to expire at midnight. They raised new concerns after an execution Thursday in Arkansas left the prisoner convulsing and pressing against his restraints.

The deaths on April 24 were the nation's first double execution in almost 17 years.

Williams' lawyers had argued, among other things, that their client should be spared because he is intellectually disabled. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie M. Pierce also did not halt the execution.

Williams' lawyers say he has sickle cell trait, lupus and brain damage, and that the combined maladies could subject him to an exceptionally painful execution in violation of the U.S. Constitution. "We know what they are going through but ours is a pain that we have decided not to try and cure by seeking an execution", Kayla Greenwood wrote.

"State officials must not be allowed to cover up what went wrong in all four of these executions", Scott Braden, of the Arkansas Federal Defender's Office, said in a statement.

The lawsuit filed in a US district court in Little Rock said: "If the midazolam fails to keep the prisoner under anesthesia, the prisoner would be awake and aware but unable to move or speak or even open his eyes, so he would then look completely serene despite being in agony". Courts have stayed four of the planned executions.

After the jerking, Williams breathed through his mouth and moaned or groaned once — during a consciousness check — until falling still seven minutes into the lethal injection. Midazolam, a sedative, has been said to be related to botched executions in the past, so after Williams experienced convulsions three minutes into the execution, his attorneys spoke out, Fox News reported. One witness said it appeared the inmate arched his back.

Time is of the essence, the motion says.

But this one had complications, The Associated Press reported Friday.

Wendy Kelley, director of the Arkansas Department of Correction, told Gov. Asa Hutchinson it was like "coughing without noise", although other witnesses said they heard sounds coming from Williams.

Kenneth Williams' 21-year-old daughter, Jasmine Johnson, and her young daughter traveled to Varner Supermax, in Grady, using plane tickets purchased for them by the family of Michael Greenwood, whom Williams killed in a 1999 auto crash that occurred after Williams escaped from prison.

Kenneth Williams, 38, was initially sentenced to life in prison for the 1998 killing of Dominique Hurd, a university cheerleader.

Williams stole Boren's vehicle and drove across the state line into southern Missouri, where he led law enforcement officers in a high speed chase, which resulted in a collision that led to the death of another motorist.

He was fleeing police the next day when he crashed into Michael Greenwood's water delivery truck, killing him instantly. While in prison, he confessed to killing another person in 1998.

At the state's request, the full appeals court agreed to review the case after a three-judge panel rejected the method as unconstitutional. Johnson said she was stunned by the generosity of the Greenwood family. "We still miss him, and we still hurt".

Because he once knew that same dark place, Mr. Williams could connect and show people that from even the darkest of places, you can always come out and change and help others to see right from wrong.

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

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