Independent investigation requested after Williams 'lurched, convulsed' in last execution

UN human rights office hits out at ‘rushed’ Arkansas executions

Witnessed by AP writer Kelly Kissel.

Kenneth Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11:05 the state's Cummins Unit prison.

In addition, three of the four black inmates originally scheduled for execution were killed, Clifton said, while three of the four white inmates originally slated for execution received stays by the courts. But it was clearly one of the most unorthodox-looking executions in state history. One manufacturer, West-Ward Pharmacueticals, filed a brief in support of the eight inmates this month, saying it tries to ensure its midazolam isn't used in executions.

Williams and the other seven death row inmates initially fought their executions on the grounds that midazolam, the sedative Arkansas is using to render inmates unconscious, does not reliably prevent a painful death.

Kenneth Williams on Thursday became the fourth convicted killer executed in Arkansas in eight days as the state sought to carry out as many lethal injections as possible before one of its drugs expires Sunday.

"Me and Jasmine, we immediately connected. she didn't have to explain her feelings because I already knew", Greenwood said. "Mr. Williams' execution must be reviewed to investigate the witnesses' accounts and determine whether the state tortured Mr. Williams before killing him". "I've not seen any indication of pain".

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled the ADC must request the state medical examiner's office collect the samples by 8 p.m. Friday night.

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A report from the Associated Press states that Williams experienced heavy breathing and "lurched forward 15 times in quick succession, then another five times at a slower rate". A few states have used Midazolam as the first drug in the series of the three-drug execution.

Arkansas' execution protocol requires prison officials to dispose of any drugs that were prepared for an execution, but not used.

About three minutes into the execution, the AP reported, Williams began lurching and jerking about 20 times against the leather straps holding him down.

One of the media witnesses, Donna Terrell of FOX 16 in Little Rock, told CNN affiliate KARK that after the midazolam was injected, Williams' chest started going up and down rapidly. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas also called for an investigation, arguing that the state may have violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

A spokesperson for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters the state is working on getting a new batch of the drug.

Seventeen years after that conviction, Williams was executed at the same Cummins prison he escaped from.

State officials have testified all three drug suppliers previously used will not sell or give any more lethal drugs to Arkansas. At that point, he would be unable to move or let executioners know if the midazolam hadn't taken full effect.

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In his final statement from the death chamber, Williams said, "I extend my sincerest of apologies to the families I have senselessly wronged and deprived of their loved ones". The log said Williams' hands remained relaxed and he did not grimace or show distress on his face during the movement. Trent Garner, said on Twitter that "the inmate did not suffer or seem in pain".

"I saw an efficient, effective execution process", state Sen.

Williams was sentenced to death in 2000 for fatally shooting a former deputy warden during his 1999 escape from prison, where he was serving a life sentence for killing a college cheerleader the previous year.

"This is a new chapter in this story, and every time we have a new chapter it makes it more and more hard to obtain drugs and the states' options get more and more constrained", said Deborah Denno, a professor at Fordham University School of Law and an expert on the death penalty.

In 2014, Tennessee said that when lethal injection drugs can't be found, the state can use the electric chair. The lawyers for Williams tried unsuccessfully to win a last-minute stay of his execution with claims that Jones's execution by lethal injection "appeared to be torturous and inhumane".

Catholic Mobilizing Network in Washington, an advocacy group seeking to end the death penalty, similarly sent Twitter updates the night of the execution and each of the eight days when other inmates were executed, including two executions April 24. Witnesses to those lengthier executions also described hearing inmates breathe heavily, snore or snort or seeing them struggle against their restraints.

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