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Arkansas executed two people in one day for the first time since 2000

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UPDATE April 25, 5:58 a.m. EST:

Marcel Williams was executed and pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m. Monday. The injection took 17 minutes.

Williams was sentenced to death in 1997 for abducting, robbing, raping and killing Stacy Errickson, a 22-year-old living at the Little Rock Air Force Base. His execution had been delayed over concerns the execution of Jack Harold Jones had been botched.

This marks the first time the state executed two people on the same day since 2000.

UPDATE 9:45 p.m. EST:

A federal judge put the second execution scheduled for Monday night on hold.  

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued the order after inmate Marcel Williams' attorneys questioned whether the previous execution of the night went properly. Williams' attorneys said it took 45 minutes for the prison's staff to place an IV into inmate Jack Jones, according to ABC News.

Williams' death warrant expires at midnight. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Arkansas executed inmate Jack Harold Jones by lethal injection Monday night for the 1995 rape and murder of Mary Phillips. Jones was also convicted of attempting to kill Phillips' 11-year-old daughter.

"The Phillips family has waited far too long to see justice carried out, and I pray they find peace tonight," Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge tweeted. 

Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. and was the first of two inmates scheduled for lethal injection in what could become the nation's first double execution since 2000. 


Jones and the other death-row inmate Marcel Williams, who was convicted of the 1994 rape and murder of Stacy Errickson, filed emergency petitions with the U.S. Supreme court Monday, according to CNN. The court responded hours later, denying Jones' petition but not Willams'. 

Jones said earlier this month he was ready for execution. He'd had a leg amputated while in prison because of his diabetes. 

Williams, whose execution was scheduled for 8:15 p.m., is still waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to respond to his emergency petition. His attorney asked the court to block the execution because Williams' "morbid obesity makes it likely that either the IV line cannot be placed or that it will be placed in error, thus causing substantial damage (like a collapsed lung)." 

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson had scheduled four double executions over an 11-day period in April because the state's supply of midazolam, a lethal injection drug, expires on April 30. 

Three of those executions, however, were canceled because of court rulings. 

Capital Punishment in Arkansas by Year
Capital Punishment

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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