Back-to-Back Executions on Same Arkansas Gurney

2nd inmate was in death chamber when he won temporary stay
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2017 12:31 AM CDT
Arkansas Carries Out 1st US Double Execution Since 2000
The sun sets behind clouds over an Arkansas State Police command post outside the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction near Varner, Ark.   (Stephen B. Thornton/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

Arkansas carried out the nation's first double execution since 2000 Monday night, executing Marcel Williams on the same gurney Jack Jones died on hours earlier. Both men had called for the executions to be halted because of their poor health. The AP reports that Jones, 52, was executed on schedule around 7pm. Williams, 46, was already in the death chamber when a federal judge granted a temporary stay after lawyers said the execution of Jones had been "inhumane" and Williams' execution could be "tortuous" because he weighs around 400 pounds, CNN reports. The stay was lifted after about an hour and Williams was pronounced dead at 10:33pm. Last week, Arkansas carried out its first execution since 2005.

THV11 reports that the inmates had similar final meals Monday afternoon, including fried chicken and potato logs. Jones, who raped and murdered 34-year-old Mary Phillips in 1995, delivered a two-minute final statement that included an apology to her daughter, Lacey, who was 11 when he beat her and left her for dead after killing her mother. Williams, who raped and murdered 22-year-old Stacy Errickson after kidnapping her from a gas station in 1994, declined to make a final statement. "I hope that tonight's lawful execution brings much-needed peace to all of Stacy's loved ones, particularly her now-adult children Brittany and Bryan," Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement released after the execution. (More Arkansas stories.)

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