Life&Culture

Arkansas completes executes tonight; plans 2... 8:48 pm Mon

Arkansas completes executes tonight; plans 2... 8:48 pm Mon

On Monday, Arkansas put to death two prisoners, Marcel Williams and Jack Jones, the first time a state has carried out a double execution in 17 years.

Not long after Jones' execution, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a stay of execution for inmate Marcel Williams, citing court filings arguing that continuing with his execution would "demonstrate an ongoing constitutional violation-cruel, unusual, and inhumane infliction of pain and suffering", because Jones remained partially conscious during his execution.

Federal judge lifts temporary stay she issued that halted Arkansas' 2nd scheduled execution of night.

The meal requested by Jones was three pieces of fried chicken, potato logs with tartar sauce, beef jerky bites, three Butterfinger bars, a chocolate milkshake with Butterfinger bits and fruit punch, according to the Arkansas Times.

On April 20, Arkansas executed Ledell Lee, who was convicted in 1995 of murdering a woman in her home two years earlier.

The court's four liberal justices appeared sympathetic to the argument by Alabama death row inmate James McWilliams that he is entitled to a mental health assessment from an independent medical expert before he can be executed. Though neither man has compelling litigation to block his execution, last minute legal challenges are more than possible.

A flurry of last-minute legal appeals at both the state and federal level are expected, though their likelihood of success may have diminished with the recent appointment of conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. The lawsuit went to the US Supreme Court, which ultimately denied their motion for a stay. She was strangled to death with a coffee pot cord while daughter Lacey was tied to a chair.

Williams was the third Arkansas inmate put to death in the past week. Attorneys for the inmates said their hands were forced. Williams also had fried chicken and potato logs, along with banana pudding, nachos with chili cheese and jalapenos and Mountain Dew. Both argued it would be hard for the execution team to find a suitable vein to support an intravenous line. Oklahoma planned a double execution in 2014 but scrapped plans for the second one after the execution of Clayton Lockett went awry.

Williams was convicted for the 1994 murder and rape of 22-year-old Stacy Errickson.

The authorities said Williams abducted and raped two other women in the days before he was arrested over Ms Errickson's death. The only quicker pace included quadruple executions in 1926 and 1930. Inmate Jason McGehee also had been scheduled to die that day, but a parole board has recommended his life be spared and a judge ruled that the state had to allow a 30-day period for public comment before making a final decision.

The prisoner, who had spent more than two decades on death row, had been pushed into the death chamber in a wheelchair having had one leg amputated as a result of diabetes. "That's what I had been told and then when I took the picture, with the flash, I saw her look up with that one eye".

The state responded similarly to Jones' request for a stay, writing that it "represents another dilatory and piecemeal-litigation tactic created to delay his lawful execution". Until this month, Arkansas had not executed anyone for 12 years and nationally capital punishment has been markedly declining, with only 20 executions last year, the lowest number since 1991.


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