Arkansas on Monday continued their controversial execution spree by carrying out back-to-back executions to become the first USA state to kill more than one inmate on the same day in 17 years.
The State of Arkansas has completed the first double execution in the United States since 2000 with the executions of Jack Jones Jr. and Marcel Williams.
Jack Jones and Marcel Williams received lethal injections on the same gurney Monday night, just about three hours apart.
In an emergency filing, Williams' lawyers argued that he could face a "torturous" death because of his size.
Initially, Gov. Asa Hutchinson scheduled four double executions over an 11-day period in April.
One drug supplier stepped forward this month to say a Department of Correction deputy had duped the company into supplying vecuronium bromide for executions a year ago.
Drugs for lethal injections have been increasingly hard for states to obtain because "drug companies have refused to sell their products for the objective of executions", according to the New York Times.
Prior to the executions of the two men on Monday night, attorneys representing Jones had appealed on the basis that he would die painfully since there was a possibility he had a resistance to midazolam, one of the drugs used in the chemical execution.
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In addition to arguing that Williams and Jones would suffer unnecessarily due to their physical impairments, both men were said to have mental and emotional problems as a result of childhood abuse and trauma.
Williams was expected to be executed directly following Jones' execution.
Jones, 52, was sent to death row for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips. Phillips was found with a coffee-pot cord tied around her neck in her office.
"This evening, Lacey Phillips Manor and Darla Phillips Jones have seen justice for the brutal rape and murder of their mother, Mary Phillips", said Arkansas attorney general Leslie Rutledge. We'll know Thursday the fate of the lone inmate with an active death warrant against him. Other prisoners have moved their lips as if they were speaking or praying.
But the Arkansas attorney general disputed the account and it was decided Williams should be executed. Jones had three pieces of fried chicken, potato logs with tartar sauce, three Butterfingers, a chocolate milkshake, and fruit punch. He was sentenced to death for the 1994 killing of Stacy Errickson, whom he'd kidnapped and strangled.
Williams has been transferred to Arkansas' Cummins Unit, where executions are carried out.
"A governor never asks for this responsibility, but I accept it as part of the solemn pledge I made to uphold the law", said Hutchinson in a statement after Jones' execution.
Both said in unsuccessful legal challenges that they suffered from diabetes and other medical issues and that killing them with the state's lethal injection cocktail would be cruel and unusual punishment.
So far, only one person has been executed. The number of executions (20) in 2016 reached the lowest level recorded in any year since 1991.