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Arkansas Death Chamber Lethal Injection
Arkansas Department of Correction

The nation's first double execution in 16 years is raising a new issue involving transparency and the death penalty: Should witnesses be allowed to hear what goes on in the death chamber?

A lawyer who watched Monday's executions in Arkansas says he saw an inmate open his mouth several times when it should have been still. That prompted another lawyer to claim in a court filing that Jack Jones was gulping for air after receiving a sedative, the first component of a lethal injection.

Other witnesses did not see it that way. An open microphone could have settled the question.

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.

A condemned Arkansas inmate is again asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to stop his execution, arguing that his previous attorney plagiarized a court filing.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has repeatedly declined to stop Marcel Williams' execution, one of two planned for Monday night. In a late afternoon court filing, Williams asked justices for a stay of execution so he can argue claims that his prior attorneys were ineffectual.

The court filing says that nearly 10 pages of an earlier appeal "was cut and pasted verbatim from a 1961 United States Supreme Court case."

Jack Jones and Marcel Williams
Arkansas Department of Correction

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected requests for stays of execution from two inmates set to die in the nation's first double execution since 2000.

Jack Jones Jr. and Marcel Williams had asked the state's highest court to stop their executions, which are set for Monday night. Arkansas is trying to use a sedative that expires at the end of the month, and if the men don't receive lethal injections as scheduled their executions will be off indefinitely.

The state has said it has no new source for midazolam.

Jack Jones
Arkansas Department of Correction

A federal appeals court has rejected an Arkansas inmate's request for a stay of execution for the rape and killing of a woman more than two decades ago.

Jack Jones Jr. says his lethal injection could be cruel and unusual because he is diabetic and overweight. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his request Monday, hours before his scheduled execution.

Jones was convicted of raping and strangling Mary Phillips at a Bald Knob accounting office on June 6, 1995.

A federal judge says she won't block two inmates from being executed next week in Arkansas, rejecting the men's claims that their poor health could make the lethal injections especially painful.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker denied requests to stop the executions for Jack Jones and Marcel Williams, both of which are scheduled for Monday night.

Williams argues that his obesity and diabetes could make the lethal injections too painful. Jones argues that his diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions could cause him to suffer an "extended and painful death."

Ledell Lee
Arkansas Department of Correction

Arkansas has executed an inmate for the first time in nearly a dozen years as part of its plan to execute several inmates before a drug expires April 30, despite court rulings that have already spared three men.

Ledell Lee was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. Thursday. The 51-year-old Lee was given the death penalty for the 1993 death of his neighbor Debra Reese, whom Lee struck 36 times with a tire tool.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is allowing the state to use a lethal injection drug in upcoming executions, despite a supplier's complaint that it was sold to the state to be used only for inmates' medical care.

Justices on Thursday lifted a judge's order preventing the state from using its supply of vecuronium bromide, one of three drugs used in Arkansas' lethal injection protocol. McKesson Corp., a medical supply company, said the state misleadingly bought the drug and that it wasn't intended for executions.

Lawyers for the state of Arkansas have started their appeal of a decision that would prevent its executioners from using one of the three drugs in its lethal injection protocol.

Circuit Judge Alice Gray has stopped the state's use of vecuronium bromide until she can determine the rightful owner. A drug supply company says Arkansas obtained the drug under false pretenses.

The judge filed her order Thursday after the state complained to the Arkansas Supreme Court that she was taking too much time. Once her order was in, the state filed a notice that it would appeal.

Arkansas Death Chamber Lethal Injection
Arkansas Department of Correction

Arkansas inmates set for a series of executions before the end of the month have filed a new request for stays.

In court papers filed Thursday, they say any new judges assigned to their cases in a state court at Little Rock should have time to become familiar with their pleadings.

The state Supreme Court reassigned death penalty-related cases from a judge who went to an anti-death penalty rally after issuing an order last week barring the state from using one of its execution drugs.

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