Executions In 8 Days: What's Next For Death Row In Arkansas?


Kenneth Williams, a 38-year-old convicted multiple murderer, was the last of four inmates put to death over the space of a week - the first such executions by the conservative southern state since 2005.

The drug was used in troubled executions in Oklahoma and Arizona where witnesses said inmates twisted in pain on death chamber gurneys.

Witnesses said that three minutes after the first drug was injected, Williams began making noises that could be heard through the protective glass, including "lurching, jerking, convulsing and coughing". Meanwhile, 15 death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are awaiting execution dates.

The Arkansas governor says he sees no reason for anything beyond a routine review of execution procedures after an inmate lurched and convulsed 20 times during a lethal injection. He described the breathing as "a clear attempt to draw oxygen" and said the prisoner attempted to draw breath until 10:59 p.m.

"It is not a normal reaction to therapeutic doses of midazolam", said Jonathan Groner, a professor of surgery at the Ohio State University College of Medicine who has testified against the drug's use in executions.

It's the central question of the current USA death penalty debate, highlighted by the latest execution involving a disputed sedative that appeared to involve discomfort to the inmate.

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"There is nothing pro-life about the state-sanctioned killing of an intellectually disabled man", was just one of the many messages Sister Prejean tweeted during Williams' final hours. But three or four minutes thereafter, as the vein collapsed and Clark's arm began to swell, he raised his head off the gurney and said five times, "It don't work". It says over a period of 120 years, 75 executions were botched out of the 1,054 executions conducted using lethal injections-a rate of 7.12%.

If Thursday's execution goes forward, it will be the tenth execution to take place in the United States this year. A U.S. district judge ruled against Williams, allowing his execution to proceed.

Rita Sklar, the executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, has called for an investigation into witness accounts of Kenneth Williams' execution to "determine whether the state tortured" him. Four additionally planned killings received court-ordered stays.

His 26-minute execution remains the longest since OH resumed putting inmates to death in 1999.

According to the 2007 testimony of Williams' psychologist, Dr. Mark Douglas Cunningham, his patient had "memory problems, problems focusing attention, deficiencies of judgment and reasoning, problems with reading comprehension, problems with comprehending oral instructions and problems with mental flexibility, which is the ability to shift from one task to another". "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". The crimes I perpetrated against you all were senseless, extremely hurtful, and inexcusable.

I humbly beg you your forgiveness, and pray you find the peace, healing, and closure, you all deserve. "I am not the same person I was. I have been transformed", he added. Some things can't be undone. Williams killed Greenwood's father in a vehicle accident after he escaped from prison.

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"This is very disturbing, but not at all surprising, given the history of the risky sedative midazolam, which has been used in many botched executions", Nolan said in a statement.

Williams' attorneys said that the family of Michael Greenwood had called on Hutchinson to spare Williams' life.

"I think it's totally unjustified", Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters when asked about the possibility of an independent probe. I have come to learn that he is man who counsels and helps people who may be in a dark place because they never felt love, or were victims of a terrible upbringing that caused trauma and hurt.

"We just live 2 miles from the prison". "However, the European Union does not believe that their loss will be mitigated by the death of Mr. Williams".

Hutchinson had put a temporary hold on Williams' execution Thursday evening to allow the US Supreme Court to consider motions for stays of execution.

In response to the reports, a lawyer for Williams is calling for a full investigation.

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