With it's lethal drug on the verge of expiring, Arkansas performed two lethal injections in an unprecedented time-frame.
Monday night the state executed two inmates back to back which was the first double execution since 2000. In fact, the inmates were pronounced dead an hour apart from each other.
Pushing back on legal challenges, Arkansas executed an inmate last week, Ledell Lee, which was their first solo lethal injection since 2005. Four days later they then carried out the double execution of Jack H. Jones, 52, and Marcel W. Williams, 46.
Jones was sentenced to death back in 1996 after the raping and killing of Mary Phillips while the woman and her daughter were at an accounting firm. Additionally, before killing Phillips, Jones severely beat her then 11 year old daughter, Lacy Phillips, to the point that police thought the girl was dead when they arrived on the scene.
Lacy spoke at his most recent clemency hearing saying, his death is the only thing that will give her peace: "He admitted to what he did, he needs to pay for it, and my family needs it."
Williams, 46, was sentenced to death in 1997 for abducting, robbing, raping and killing Stacy Errickson, who was 22 and was living at the Little Rock Air Force Base while her husband was serving overseas.
Arkansas initially planned to carry out 8 executions in just 11 days this month but court orders and appeals thwarted the decision.
Jones and Williams, both of whom have been on Arkansas death row since being convicted of brutal murders two decades ago, unsuccessfully sought to delay their lethal injections set for Monday night at a state prison southeast of Little Rock.
Both men appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday morning but their request were rejected. Jones was executed first, with Williams following immediately after. Williams' lawyers, however, tried to argue that the first execution was botched but the courts resumed. Both men said their previous medical conditions may complicate the execution, which required the execution of three drugs.
Death-row inmates in Arkansas also appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court as a group, but those requests have been rebuffed, most recently Monday, when the high court denied a request to rehear a case from Arkansas inmates that the justices had already denied. No explanations were given, though Justice Sotomayor said she would have granted the petitions in that case.