Arkansas Executions 2017

Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado, issued a statement on Monday calling for the Arkansas House of Representatives to bring articles of impeachment against Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.

“Because of his gross misconduct in office, I am calling for the Arkansas House of Representatives to bring an article of impeachment against Judge Wendell Griffen. He should never again be allowed to hold office of any sort in Arkansas. We as the General Assembly can remove the stain that Griffen has left on our judicial integrity,” Garner said in a prepared statement.

Leslie Rutledge Attorney General
Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says the earliest Arkansas could see a restart of the execution process is in mid-May when a stay of execution for Jason McGehee will expire. McGehee was one of four death row inmates whose executions in the most recent 8-person lethal injection schedule were not carried out due to last-minute legal challenges.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Brian Chilson-Williams / Arkansas Times

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday said he will limit next week’s special session primarily to items involving health care and he announced plans to cut the fiscal year budget by $70 million, while shoring up a long-term contingency fund. He also said that concerns over the most recent state execution, in which inmate Kenneth Williams “convulsed,” will be investigated by the Arkansas Department of Corrections, but no independent investigation is warranted.

“I see no reason for any investigation other than the routine review that is done after every execution,” Hutchinson said.

A spokesman for the governor, J.R. Davis, and a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction, Soloman Graves, update the media on the status of the execution.
Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Arkansas has carried out its final execution for the month of April.

Eight death row inmates were scheduled to die in less than two weeks in Arkansas in four double executions. Ultimately, four inmates were executed, including one double execution.

Death row inmate Kenneth Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m.  The lethal injection began at 10:52 p.m.

Williams' execution, which had been scheduled for 7 p.m., was on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed legal challenges. It ultimately denied all claims.

Varner Arkansas Department of Correction Cummins Prison
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Updated at 6:45 p.m.  

Kenneth Williams, who is set to be executed Thursday at 7 p.m. killed four people in separate incidents. But relatives of the victims are mixed about whether his execution should be carried out. Loved ones for the man whose case led to the death sentence are supporting the lethal injection, but relatives of another victim say the execution would only cause more pain.

Kenneth Williams
Arkansas Department of Correction

A prison spokesman says an Arkansas inmate scheduled to be the fourth executed in a week opted to receive communion instead of a traditional last meal. Kenneth Williams is scheduled for execution at 7 p.m. Thursday unless a court steps in.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves says that Williams received communion from his spiritual adviser. Williams was also served a regular prison meal that included fried chicken, beans, rice, corn, tomatoes, cinnamon rolls, two cookies, four slices of bread and punch.

/eeas.europa.eu

Governor Asa Hutchinson, who has made pushing international trade a hallmark of his first term, received a letter from the European Union Ambassador to the U.S. calling for the state to stop executions. The letter was published Wednesday afternoon by the EU. The governor's office has not said whether it plans to reply.

adc.arkansas.gov

The execution of death row inmate Kenneth Williams is only hours away, scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight. Attorneys for Williams have started to court action.

The filing in Pulaski County Circuit Court asserts medical conditions, including: sickle cell, lupus, and organic brain damage could cause complications and lead to severe pain and suffering.

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.

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