LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on Arkansas’ multiple execution plan (all times local):
A newly released document says officials spent less than 10 minutes inserting IV lines in the first inmate executed by Arkansas in a double execution Monday night.
According to an internal affairs log released by the state Tuesday, it took officials eight minutes to insert IV lines for Jack Jones’ execution.
Attorneys had claimed in court papers that infirmary staff tried unsuccessfully to place a central line in Jones’ neck for 45 minutes before placing one elsewhere on his body. The reason for the discrepancy in the two accounts wasn’t immediately clear.
IVs are placed before the curtains are lifted in the death chamber, so witnesses are not allowed to see that part of the process.
The log provided very few details about Jones’ execution beyond the start and end times, including whether he showed any signs of distress.
Prison officials spent 40 minutes placing IV lines in an Arkansas inmate whose attorneys had argued that his weight could complicate his lethal injection. That’s according to records released Tuesday by the Arkansas Department of Correction detailing the execution of Marcel Williams.
The internal affairs log says Williams, who weighed 400 pounds, was restrained in the death chamber at 9:30 p.m. Monday, moments after a federal judge lifting a temporary stay that had blocked his execution.
The log says officials began the process of inserting IV lines at 9:35 p.m. and it wasn’t complete until 10:15 p.m. Witnesses were not allowed to view this part of the process.
Williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m.
Arkansas won’t move forward with plans to execute one of two inmates who had been slated to be put to death on Thursday night.
A spokesman for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said the state will not appeal a federal judge’s order staying the execution planned for Jason McGehee. U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. earlier this month put the execution on hold after the state Parole Board recommended that Gov. Asa Hutchinson grant him clemency.
The judge said McGehee was entitled to a 30-day comment period before Hutchinson makes his decision. The decision leaves Kenneth Williams as the only inmate facing execution Thursday night. Arkansas has executed three inmates under a plan that originally called for putting eight inmates to death before the state’s supply of a lethal injection drug expires at the end of the month.
After going nearly 12 years without executing an inmate, Arkansas now has executed three in a few days — including two in one night.
Jack Jones and Marcel Williams received lethal injections on the same gurney Monday night, just about three hours apart. It was the first double execution in the United States since 2000.
While Jones was executed on schedule, shortly after 7 p.m., attorneys for Williams convinced a federal judge minutes later to briefly delay his execution over concerns about how the earlier one was carried out. They claimed Jones “was moving his lips and gulping for air,” an account the state’s attorney general denied, but the judge lifted her stay about an hour later and Williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m. The stay was later lifted and Williams was executed.
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