Arkansas Set to Execute Another Inmate After Possible Botched Execution

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.

In the country's first double execution in 17 years. Jack Jones and Marcel Williams were killed Monday night after each spent years on death row for murder. Jones was put to death first, at 7:20 p.m., but not before suffering through what might have been a botched execution. According to an emergency motion filed by Williams's lawyers to stay his execution, prison staff "tried unsuccessfully to place a central line [for administering drugs] in Mr. Jones's neck for 45 minutes before placing one elsewhere on his body."

Midazolam, a sedative, is one of three drugs used in a lethal injection. After it was administered, "Mr. Jones was moving his lips and gulping for air. Mr. Jones's movements after the midazolam was administered is evidence of continued consciousness," according to the motion to stay. He died 14 minutes later.

"Because Mr. Jones's execution appeared to be torturous and inhumane, Mr. Williams moves for an immediate stay of his execution pending further review of the Jones execution in this Court," Williams's lawyers said in the motion to stay on Monday night.

Williams's execution was briefly stayed by a federal judge until 8:30 p.m., but was lifted an hour later. Williams died at around 10:30 p.m. Jones's execution is reminiscent of the botched killing of Clayton Lockett, whose prolonged, mangled death by lethal injection in Oklahoma garnered international headlines in 2014.

Related: Arkansas aiming to execute three more prisoners

The two men were among the eight death row prisoners in Arkansas that the state sought to execute "assembly-style" before its supply of midazolam expires at the end of the month. Both Williams and Jones had a number of health conditions, including diabetes and neuropathy, according to lawyers. Arkansas is set to execute one more inmate, Kenneth D. Williams, on Thursday.

Damien Echols, a former death row inmate and campaigner against the death penalty, tweeted on Tuesday: "These executions were nothing more than human sacrifices made by politicians in order to climb the political ladder. 'Justice' is irrelevant."

The human rights group Amnesty International called the killings "heinous" and "shameful."

"Tonight Arkansas continues its shameful backslide against prevailing trends away from the death penalty," Amnesty said in a statement. "This conveyer belt of death must stop immediately by commuting the remaining sentences, and abolishing the death penalty once and for all."

Last month, an Amnesty International report said the U.S. has fallen outside of the top five countries for executions, for the first time since 2006. The U.S. is ranked seventh in the organization's list, behind Egypt, although the Arkansas executions could help lead to a higher ranking.

Arkansas Set to Execute Another Inmate After Possible Botched Execution | U.S.