WASHINGTON: Arkansas executed another inmate on Thursday, the last in a series of lethal injections that the state has squeezed into a compressed timeline, even as the daughter of one of his victims appealed for clemency, reports AFP.
A plan by the conservative southern state to execute eight prisoners in 11 days—before its stock of a drug used in legal injections expires—set off a huge legal battle.
It was challenged not only by lawyers for the condemned men but also pharmaceutical companies opposed to their products being used to put people to death.
Four of the inmates won reprieves, but the state carried out its first execution since 2005 last Thursday, putting convicted murderer Ledell Lee to death at its Cummins Unit, near Varner, Arkansas.
Jack Jones and Marcel Williams, convicted separately of rape and murder in the 1990s, were executed on Monday in the nation’s first double execution in nearly 17 years.
Kenneth Williams, 38, became the fourth inmate put to death in Arkansas in a span of eight days.
Williams died after receiving a lethal injection, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement.
Williams’ lawyers had argued, among other things, that their client should be spared because he is intellectually disabled.
Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson has said the accelerated execution timetable was necessary because the state’s stock of a sedative, midazolam, used in lethal injections will expire at the end of the month.
Many of the legal clashes focus on midazolam, which is meant to render a condemned person unconscious before other drugs induce death.