Two former supervisors at an Arkansas juvenile detention facility Wednesday pleaded guilty for conspiracy to assault detainees. Patrick Harris, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced that 42-year old Peggy Kendrick and 40-year old Dennis Fuller each entered guilty pleas for their actions at the White River Juvenile Detention Center in Batesville.

From NPR's 1A program aired Wednesday:

Arkansas is racing to execute death row inmates before its supply of lethal drugs expires. The nationwide drug shortage has effectively put the U.S. death penalty on life support and sent many states in search of workarounds to complete executions. How much longer can the death penalty survive? Has the time come for the country to come to a consensus on capital punishment?

adc.arkansas.gov

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected an inmate's requests to block his execution, scheduled for Thursday night.

The state's high court rejected the requests Wednesday for Kenneth Williams.

Williams had asked for a stay of execution over claims about what evidence jurors considered when he was sentenced to death.

An Arkansas judge who blocked the state's executions the same day he participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration is asking two state panels to investigate the attorney general's office and the state Supreme Court for his removal from considering any capital punishment cases.

Solomon Graves Department of Correction
Bobby Ampezzan / Arkansas Public Media

Arkansas has a practice of cutting off witness access to an audio feed in the state’s death chamber after the soon to be executed inmate’s opportunity to give last words. After lethal injection drugs are administered witnesses have to rely only on sight to evaluate an execution. The state is the sole audial observer once the execution begins.

Arkansas executed two men in one night this week, and there is a dispute about how it went. Attorneys for the first man executed Monday, Jack Jones, say he gasped for air as he died. Media witnesses say they simply saw Jones’ lips moving. None of the execution witnesses were allowed to hear Jones’ sounds.

Andrew DeMillo, an Associated Press reporter who witnessed Jones’ execution, reported back to other journalists at the prison that Jones’ lips had moved during the lethal injection process.

Bruce Westerman
Talk Business & Politics

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman sat down for a conversation with Talk Business & Politics Daily. He discussed the late Fourth District Congressman Jay Dickey, who passed away last week. Westerman also previewed the upcoming week of business in the nation’s capital, noting that healthcare changes are the critical driver for tax reform and infrastructure investments.

Robert Siegel, whose career with NPR has spanned more than four decades, will be stepping down as co-host of NPR's All Things Considered next year.

One of the most distinctive voices on NPR's airwaves, Siegel will be leaving the host's chair in January 2018. He has hosted the show for 30 years.

10:39 Update:

An ADC spokesman says Marcel Williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m. The procedure began at 10:16. 

A spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction declared that Jack Jones was executed Monday night by lethal injection. His execution began at 7:06 p.m. and he was declared dead at 7:20 p.m.

"He was covered in a sheet with his arms extended," said media witness, Andrew DeMillo, from the Associated Press. DeMillo noted Jones' lips continued moving for several minutes after the execution began though witnesses were not able to hear sound from the execution chamber.

Jack Jones
Arkansas Department of Correction

Arkansas has executed inmate Jack Jones by lethal injection, the first of what would be the only double-execution in the U.S. since 2000.

Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. Monday at the state's Cummins Unit in southeast Arkansas. Barring any last-minute stays, inmate Marcel Williams will be executed later Monday.

Jones was sent to death row for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips. He was also convicted of attempting to kill Phillips' 11-year-old daughter and was convicted in another rape and killing in Florida.

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