Arkansas inmate convulses during deadline-beating execution

Arkansas inmate convulses during deadline-beating execution

She says state officials typically describe execution irregularities as minor or normal but that it was hard to accept Arkansas' account.

On October 3 of 1999, while serving his life sentence at the Cummins Unit of the state prison system in Lincoln County, Williams escaped by hiding in a hog slop-filled tank of a garbage truck.

Boren's daughter, Jodie Efird, watched the the execution from the death chamber.

The Greenwood family, in an act of kindness, reached out to William's daughter and bought a plane ticket for her to visit her father one last time.

During the execution, Williams expressed remorse in his final words. "Others suffering in order that I live for however much longer - that's no hope at all, not if I have truly learned my lesson to value other people's lives".

In his final statement from the death chamber, Williams said, "I extend my sincerest of apologies to the families I have senselessly wronged and deprived of their loved ones".

Another witness, Little Rock TV anchor Donna Terrell, told CNN affiliate KARK-TV that after the midazolam was injected, Williams' chest started going up and down rapidly from 10:55 to 10:59 p.m.

Greenwood, who found Jasmine after Google searches helped her track down Williams' attorneys, sent a letter Thursday to Hutchinson pleading with him to call off the execution.

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed Williams' execution Thursday said that about three minutes into the lethal injection, his body jerked 15 times in quick succession.

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He dismissed as a "whitewash" a comment by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson's spokesman that the physical agitation was an "involuntary muscular reaction" caused by one of the drugs.

In most cases, the lethal injection consists of a series of three drugs-the first one that renders the prisoner unconscious, the second one that paralyses muscles and third one that stops the heart. One challenge argued that Williams had medical issues that could make his lethal injection painful.

His lawyers unsuccessfully petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay, saying the inmate should not be executed because three health care professionals had determined he was "intellectually disabled". Williams, 38, received a lethal injection Thursday night at the Cummins Unit prison at Varner for the death of a former deputy warden killed after Williams escaped from prison in 1999.

Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before the drug expires on Sunday. Williams' attorneys and the American Civil Liberties Union have called for a full investigation. Kenneth Williams became the final inmate to be executed in Arkansas' plan to execute eight people between April 17 and April 27 -preceded by the executions of Ledell Lee, Jack Jones and Marcel Williams. He was convicted in 1995 of murdering a woman in her home two years earlier. They had committed murders in the 1990s.

Like at least one other execution the state has recently carried out, many are now questioning whether the methods the state used to execute its fourth death row inmate were humane at all. The Arkansas Supreme Court denied the claim. 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.

If states can't get supplies of the three drugs needed for the lethal injection cocktail now used, authorities may have to switch to a one-drug lethal injection and use drugs such as sodium thiopental and pentobarbital.

In response, several states turned to new mixes that included midazolam.

It's unclear whether Arkansas will receive fresh supplies of midazolam after its current batch expires. Kayla's other relatives were downstairs in a restaurant and ran into anti-death-penalty protesters, in town for what would be the fourth Arkansas execution in a week, staying at the same hotel. Attorneys for Marcel Williams, the second inmate scheduled to die that night, said that movement proved Jones' execution was torturous and inhumane. Williams, who was breathing through his nose before the movement, began breathing through his mouth after the 20th lurch, Kissel said.

The executions have drawn worldwide outcry.

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