Arkansas Carries Out 1st Execution Of Night, Prepares For 2nd

Apr 24, 2017

Jack Jones
Credit 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.

When asked for a last statement, officials say he apologized to the family of the woman he raped and killed in 1995.

Jack Jones delivered about a two-minute final statement, ending with, "I'm sorry." He told Phillips' daughter, Lacy, who was injured during the attack, that he hoped that "over time you can learn who I really am and I am not a monster."

There were no apparent signs of complications during the execution. Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m., about 14 minutes after the procedure began. His chest stopped moving two minutes after a consciousness check.

Jones said earlier this month that he was ready for execution. Jones used a wheelchair and he'd had a leg amputated in prison because of complications related to diabetes.

Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before the end of April, when its supply of one lethal injection drug expires. One inmate was put to death last week, though the first three executions were canceled because of court rulings.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson released a statement shortly after the execution:

This evening the rule of law was upheld when the sentence of the jury for Jack Jones was carried out after 20 years of review. The victim’s family has waited patiently for justice during that time. The jury sentenced Jack Jones to death, and his sentence was upheld by judges and reviewed thoroughly in courts of appeal at each level. “A governor never asks for this responsibility, but I accept it as part of the solemn pledge I made to uphold the law. Jack Jones expressed his willingness to proceed today, and we hope this will help bring closure to the Phillips family.