New issue in executions: Should the death chamber be silent?

Details have emerged about the grim last minutes of one of two men executed in Arkansas on Monday night, as the state is set to put to death another inmate later this week.

The last time a state attempted to execute two death row inmates back-to-back, in 2014, Oklahoma called off the second execution after the first struggled for 43 minutes with the same drug combination used Monday in Arkansas and died of a heart attack. Jones' execution is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and Williams' is slated to begin at 8:15 p.m.in the same execution chamber.

Williams was convicted in the 1994 rape and murder of Stacy Errickson.

VARNER, Ark. (AP) — Two inmates received lethal injections on the same gurney Monday night about three hours apart as Arkansas completed the nation's first double execution since 2000, just days after the state ended a almost 12-year hiatus on administering capital punishment. "Infirmary staff tried unsuccessfully to place a central line in Mr. Jones's neck for 45 minutes before placing one elsewhere on his body". Williams' attorneys argued that the execution appeared to be "torturous and inhumane". However, within a week the state is behind schedule and in a scramble, having only one execution completed, three more scheduled and four that are on hold as inmates exhaust their final appeals. They said he may have received more than one dose of Midazolam and that he was breathing heavily for a few minutes after the initial injection.

On Monday night the state of Arkansas conducted the first double execution in 17 years.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray had made an order halting the use of vecuronium bromide in the state's lethal injection process, but Justices on Thursday overturned it.

Lawyers for Jones argued that their client should not be put to death because diabetes, hypertension and many narcotics prescribed to him over the years would mean that "he is likely to be either not rendered unconscious and thus suffer a painful death in violation of the Eighth Amendment, or be left alive but brain damaged". New issues also arise late in the process, including questions about the effect of execution drugs.

In addition to arguing that Williams and Jones would suffer unnecessarily due to their physical impairments, both men were said to have mental and emotional problems as a result of childhood abuse and trauma.

He also abducted and raped two other women.

The request was granted, temporarily halting Williams' execution.

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Jones, 52, was sentenced to death for the 1995 rape and murder of 34-year-old Mary Phillips and for almost beating to death her 11-year-old daughter Lacey, whose testimony helped convict him.

Jones had been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of Mary Phillips in 1995.

Associated Press reporter Andrew DeMillo witnessed the earlier execution of Jones.

After going almost 12 years without executing an inmate, Arkansas now has executed three in a few days - including two in one night.

Before Ledell Lee's execution last Thursday, Arkansas hadn't put an inmate to death since 2005.

Rutledge released another statement following Jones' execution. One involved Ronald Smith who "moved and gasped" for more than 10 minutes after he was injected in December a year ago and Joseph Wood, who "gasped for air" for two hours in July 2014.

As more pharmaceutical companies refuse to make drugs available for capital punishment, inmates have brought cruel and unusual punishment claims stemming from revised execution methods.

The letter, which his lawyer read aloud at his clemency hearing, went on to say: "I shall not ask to be forgiven, for I haven't the right".

Including Jones and Williams, nine people have been executed in the United States this year, four in Texas, three in Arkansas and one each in Missouri and Virginia. "As far as we could tell, the inmate was not having any trouble throughout it. ..."

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