Arkansas death row inmates to be executed Monday

Death-row inmates Jack Jones left and Marcel Williams were put to death Monday

Williams was convicted in the 1994 rape and murder of Stacy Errickson.

Last-ditch legal appeals could block the executions of two Arkansas inmates who are scheduled to be put to death Monday after spending more than two decades behind bars. Jones was given the death penalty for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips.

Numerous appeals by Jones and Williams were rejected on Monday.

Jack Harold Jones and Marcel Wayne Williams were among eight inmates set for execution in April before the state's supply of a lethal injection drug expires at the end of the month. The time between the first injection and the pronouncement of death was 17 minutes, state officials said.

They claimed that Jones's death was "torturous and inhumane" and that he "was moving his lips and gulping for air". Infirmary workers had spent more than 45 minutes unsuccessfully trying to put a central line into his neck.

A media witness said Jones' execution lasted about 14 minutes. Just over three hours later, Marcel Williams, 46, was pronounced dead at 10:33 CDT. While the stay was issued, he asked to use the restroom and he was allowed up.

Because of the temporary stay, Williams was taken to the death chamber, then taken back to a cell to wait.

Asa Hutchison made a decision to schedule the execution of eight prisoners before its batch of midazolam, a drug used to render a person unconscious during the execution, expires at the end of April. One inmate was put to death last week, though the first three executions were canceled because of court rulings.

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Before last week, Arkansas hadn't had an execution since 2005 or a double execution since 1999. "I'm sorry we didn't do the things that we needed to do to save you", James told Williams later.

"I hope over time you could learn who I really am and I am not a monster", he said. In addition, a growing number of pharmaceutical companies refuse to make additional drugs available for capital punishment. 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 worldwide headlines in 2014. She was strangled to death with a coffee pot cord while daughter Lacey was tied to a chair.

The first inmate, Jack Jones, was executed on schedule, shortly after 7pm local time. There were reports that Jones' execution may have had complications. He used a wheelchair and he'd had a leg amputated in prison because of diabetes. The state maintained the claims were baseless and after consideration, the judge lifted the stay.

After requests to stay both executions failed, the Arkansas Department of Corrections administered lethal injections to both men Monday night. Williams had fried chicken, banana pudding, nachos, two sodas and potato logs with ketchup, Graves added. One convict was executed last week, while the fourth is scheduled to be executed on Thursday (27 April).

In 2006 U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes overturned his 1997 death sentence, saying a jury might have recommended a life sentence had it heard Williams' awful childhood story.

Lawyers for the men who are scheduled to die Monday have filed legal challenges based on the inmates' health, saying their poor physical condition could interfere with the lethal injection and subject them to extraordinary pain.

The first drug shuts down a prisoner's lungs, the second stops the heart.

Arkansas had planned to put eight convicted murderers to death in 11 days - a record, had it been carried out - but four have won reprieves.

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