Arkansas carries out first double execution in the United States since 2000

Toni Houston
May 3, 2017

Inmate Jack Jones was executed earlier in the evening. It was the first double execution in the United States since 2000.

But it was a short reprieve. His death warrant had been due to expire at midnight CT.

Marcel Williams, 46, was granted a temporary stay of execution by US District Judge Kristine Baker in Little Rock, Arkansas, as Williams attorneys claimed Jones was still moving more than five minutes after he received the sedative, Midazolam.

IVs are placed before the curtains are lifted in the death chamber, so witnesses are not allowed to see that part of the process. It argued that Williams, who weighs 400 pounds, could have faced a "torturous" death because of his weight. The Supreme Court blocked four of the rushed executions, the Times reports. The Arkansas Supreme Court denied the claim, though an appeal from one inmate remains up for consideration by the Supreme Court. Media witnesses say they saw Jack Jones moving his lips a few minutes into the execution.

Jack Harold Jones, 52, was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. There were questions as to whether or not Jones' execution was painless and humane.

"I hope over time you can learn who I really am and I am not a monster", he said in the roughly two-minute statement. "Mr. Jones's movements after the midazolam was administered is evidence of continued consciousness", according to the motion to stay.

Of the four executions scheduled prior to Monday, three were ultimately stayed. He then beat her 11-year-old daughter, Lacey Phillips, and left her for dead. Jones gave his lawyer a last written statement and also chose to speak before his execution. "The statement concluded with: "'There are no words that would fully express my remorse for the pain that I caused".

The state of Arkansas executed two men, Jack Jones and Marcel Williams, late last night (24 April 2017) - the first double execution in the USA for 17 years. "As far as we could tell, the inmate was not having any trouble throughout it".

A spokesman for the Arkansas prison system, Solomon Graves, said he inherited a policy that limits what can be heard from the death chamber.

For his final meal, he requested fried chicken, banana pudding, nachos, potato logs with ketchup, and two Mountain Dews.

Williams was the third Arkansas inmate put to death in the past week.

Arkansas has executed three inmates in the past week using a sedative that's been the subject of multiple court challenges since it was first used by Florida in 2013.

In a final flurry of challenges, his lawyers first argued that Williams's extreme obesity - he weighed 400 pounds (180 kilograms) - would make it hard to find a vein for a lethal injection.

Jones was handed the death penalty for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips, whom he strangled with a cord of a coffee pot. Her daughter, Lacey Phillips Silk, thanked Governor Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

The Supreme Court has the final say on nearly every execution, but the justices reject all but a few emergency appeals by inmates. One of those women, Dina Windle, flew in to be present for Williams' clemency hearing that took place in March. In his youth, Williams was both abused and neglected by his mother. She helped investigators to identify Jones and later help convict him during the trial.

Williams was convicted of the 1997 kidnapping, rape and murder of 22-year-old Stacy Errickson. Her body was found two weeks later. "This case is simply the latest, textbook example of those tactics". Inmate Ledell Lee was put to death Thursday, April 20.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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