Arkansas inmate convulses during deadline-beating execution

Attorneys for Marcel Williams, the second inmate scheduled to die that night, said that movement proved Jones' execution was torturous and inhumane.

Condemned killer Jack Jones' 14-minute execution began after he delivered a two-minute statement and the microphone in the death chamber was turned off. Jones' lips moved for about a minute, but nothing was audible from where an AP reporter was seated. A motorist passes by the entrance to the Cummins Unit prison near Varner, Ark., on Thursday, April 27, 2017. It would be the state's fourth execution.

Arkansas has executed its fourth death-row inmate in just eight days.

The effectiveness of midazolam (mih-DAY'-zoh-lam) has been questioned following executions in Ohio, Arizona and now Arkansas.

The inmate executed on Thursday, Kenneth Williams, 38, had been convicted of a 1998 killing of Dominique Hurd, but after he escaped from prison he was convicted again in 1999 on capital murder charges for the killing of Cecil Boren.

Thursday night, Kenneth Williams was the fourth Arkansas inmate to be put to death, including two inmates who were part of the first double execution in the US since 2000.

Jasmine told me that when she saw her father and talked to him she knew he was a different man. "Mr. Williams' execution must be reviewed to investigate the witnesses' accounts and determine whether the state tortured Mr. Williams before killing him".

In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of midazolam in a case brought by Oklahoma death row inmates, saying the inmates failed to show there was an available alternative method of execution that would be less painful.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled the ADC must request the state medical examiner's office collect the samples by 8 p.m. Friday night.

As I say, I've written our four children that if someone murdered their mother or me, I expect them to ask that our murderer be spared. Other recent lethal injection executions have been allegedly "botched", most notably the 2015 execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma where the inmate was seen writhing on the gurney for almost 45 minutes after the drugs were administered.

Arkansas' execution protocol requires prison officials to dispose of any drugs that were prepared for an execution, but not used.

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A spokesman for the Arkansas governor called the movements seen in Thursday's execution "an involuntary muscular reaction" that were common side effects of midazolam. And the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas said the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment may have been violated, the AP reported.

Sklar said in a statement on Friday that Hutchinson "ignored the dangers" to beat the expiration date of the state's supply of midazolam on Sunday, April 30. Since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, 1,452 people have been executed in the United States - all but 175 by lethal injection, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The Greenwood family, however, reached forgiveness on other levels as they paid for Williams' daughter and granddaughter to travel to Arkansas to see him at jail before being executed, which was his last wish.

A lethal injection expert and law professor says Arkansas' explanation for Williams' convulsions doesn't make sense.

Williams also spoke in tongues, the unintelligible but language-like speech used in some religions.

About three minutes into Kenneth Williams' execution, his chest leaped forward against the leather restraint that secured him to the stainless steel gurney. Three media witnesses are allowed.

Courts have blocked half of those, while three other death sentences have been carried out, including two back-to-back lethal injections Monday.

"I extend my sincerest of apologies to the families I have senselessly wronged and deprived of their loved ones", Williams said in a final statement he read from the death chamber. The inmates' lawyers have said there are still flaws and that there is no certainty that the inmates aren't suffering while they die.

In 1999, he escaped from Cummins prison and killed Cecil Boren at his home just a couple miles away. At the time of his escape in a 500-gallon barrel of hog slop, Williams was less than three weeks into a life term for the death of a college cheerleader. Only midazolam had been injected at that point, Kissel said. "This incident validates that argument even more".

Williams suffered from sickle cell trait, lupus and organic brain damage, according to court filings.

Williams's attorneys also filed an emergency motion Friday asking that evidence related to his execution be preserved.

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