Arkansas Carries Out First Double Execution in Two Decades

Jack Jones left was killed as Arkansas prepared for the execution of Marcell Williams right

And the coroner has pronounced Jack Harold Jones dead at 7:20 p.m. this 24th day of April.

Jones lost a leg due to his diabetes while Williams weighs 400 pounds and is diabetic as well. The IV lines are placed before witnesses are allowed access to the death chamber.

"There was no constitutional violation in Jones' execution", Arkansas Deputy Solicitor General Nicholas Bronni said in a court filing. Williams' attorneys argued that "current circumstances demonstrate an ongoing constitutional violation-cruel, unusual, and inhumane infliction of pain and suffering upon Mr. Williams that is imminent based on the Jones execution". Other companies, Fresenius Kabi USA and WestWard Pharmaceuticals, filed a brief lawsuit arguing contracts prohibit their products from being used in executions.

The state attorney general, Leslie Rutledge, says the inmates' appeals are merely delaying tactics. "There was no constitutional violation in Jones' execution".

Jones delivered about a two-minute final statement, ending with, "I'm sorry".

His lawyers filed a writ for habeas corpus on Friday claiming he is intellectually disabled and thus ineligible for execution. Because the 30-day period will expire after his execution date, the governor will have to sign a new death warrant setting a new date.

Jones also gave his attorney a handwritten statement in which he outlined the ways in which he had tried to become a better person since being in prison. I can't believe I did something to her.

The southern state of Arkansas, rushing to execute several inmates before a lethal drug expires next week, put to death two inmates late Monday, the first double execution in the United States in 17 years.

"As far as we could tell, the inmate wasn't having any sort of trouble throughout it", she said.

An Arkansas prisons spokesman says the first inmate executed Monday night was speaking to the Arkansas Department of Correction director shortly after his lethal injection began. Jones had fried chicken, potato logs with tartar sauce, beef jerky bites, three candy bars, a chocolate milkshake and fruit punch.

Four inmates have won reprieves, but Jones and Williams were the second and third to be executed and a fourth inmate faces death on Thursday.

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.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals cited the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) enacted by President Bill Clinton for overturning Holmes, which limited the habeas rights of inmates.

He was convicted of the 1995 murder and rape of Mary Phillips and brutal assault on her daughter Lacy, 11. She was strangled to death with a coffee pot cord while daughter Lacey was tied to a chair. Lacey Phillips regained consciousness as police photographers took pictures of the crime scene, CNN reported. She helped solve the case.

Lee's execution followed a flurry of court rulings Thursday, capped by the US Supreme Court's denial of multiple requests for stays of execution. In his youth, Williams was both abused and neglected by his mother.

Prejean, whose book about capital punishment, Dead Man Walking, was made into an award-winning film, has been tweeting her concern about Arkansas since February. She once beat him so severely that his bed collapsed and he ran outside naked, according to the petition.

Williams was sentenced to death in 1997 for kidnapping, raping and murdering 22-year-old Stacy Errickson in Jacksonville.

The victim's father, James Phillips, said the legal process took too long. Her body was found in a shallow grave on December 5.