The Latest: US judge lifts temporary execution stay





LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Latest on Arkansas' attempt to carry out the nation's first double execution since 2000 (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

A federal judge has lifted her court order that temporarily blocked Arkansas from executing two inmates in one night.

Attorneys for Marcel Williams had questioned whether the night's first execution of Jack Jones went properly.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued the stay for Williams, then, lifted it about an hour later - at 9:22 p.m.

The last double execution in the United States was in 2000.

It was unclear whether Williams' attorneys would attempt further actions to delay the execution. His death warrant was due to expire at midnight.

An spokesman for the state attorney general said the execution could proceed.

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8:40 p.m.

Arkansas' attorney general is disputing claims that inmate Jack Jones may have suffered during his execution Monday night.

A federal judge issued a temporary stay for another inmate, Marcel Williams. Williams' attorneys said in court papers that Jones moved his lips and was "gulping for air" after the first drug was administered.

In a court filing, the attorney general's office said that account was "inaccurate" and "utterly baseless."

Williams' execution is on hold until U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issues another order in the case. His death warrant expires at midnight.

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8:25 p.m.

A federal judge in Little Rock has temporarily halted the execution of Arkansas inmate Marcel Williams after his attorneys questioned whether the night's earlier execution went properly.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker halted Williams' execution until 8:30 p.m. Monday or until she issues another order, whichever is later. He had been set for execution at 8:15 p.m. Monday.

Williams' attorneys said that it took 45 minutes for prison staff to place an IV into inmate Jack Jones, who was executed earlier Monday. The attorneys say that Williams, who is obese, could face a "torturous death."

The attorneys' last-minute filing said Jones showed "continued consciousness" after the midazolam was administered.

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7:50 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an execution stay for inmate Marcel Williams, which will allow Arkansas to put to death two inmates in a single night.

Justices rejected Williams' request for a stay Monday night. Williams is scheduled for execution at about 8:15 p.m.

Williams had argued that his obesity could make it difficult for officials to place an IV, and also that his previous lawyers were ineffectual at trial and during earlier appeals.

Arkansas earlier executed inmate Jack Jones Monday night. The two executions would be the first time since 2000 that a state has conducted a double execution.

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7:45 p.m.

An Arkansas inmate put to death in the first of a planned double-execution apologized to the family of the woman he raped and killed in 1995.

Jack Jones delivered about a two-minute final statement, ending with, "I'm sorry."

He told Phillips' daughter, Lacy, who was injured during the attack, that he hoped that "over time you can learn who I really am and I am not a monster."

There were no apparent signs of complications during the execution. Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m., about 14 minutes after the procedure began. His chest stopped moving two minutes after a consciousness check.

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7:30 p.m.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has again rejected a request to block the execution for inmate Marcel Williams, who is set to die Monday night.

The court denied the request from Williams, whose execution is set for 8:15 p.m. Monday. Williams still has appeals pending with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Earlier Monday, Arkansas executed inmate Jack Jones. If the state conducts both executions Monday, it will be the first double execution in the United States since 2000.

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7:25 p.m.

Arkansas has executed inmate Jack Jones by lethal injection, the first of what would be the only double-execution in the U.S. since 2000.

Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. Monday at the state's Cummins Unit in southeast Arkansas. Barring any last-minute stays, inmate Marcel Williams will be executed later Monday.

Jones was sent to death row for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips. He was also convicted of attempting to kill Phillips' 11-year-old daughter and was convicted in another rape and killing in Florida.

Jones said earlier this month that he was ready for execution. Jones used a wheelchair and he'd had a leg amputated in prison because of complications related to diabetes.

Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before the end of April, when its supply of one lethal injection drug expires. One inmate was put to death last week, though the first three executions were canceled because of court rulings.

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The version corrects the time stamp on the entry to 7:25 p.m. instead of 6:25 p.m.

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6:10 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court is refusing to block the execution of the first of two Arkansas inmates scheduled to die Monday night in what would be the nation's first double-execution since 2000.

Justices denied the request for a stay from Jack Jones, whose execution is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jones argued his poor health could lead to excessive pain during the lethal injection.

He had a leg amputated in prison because of diabetes-related complications, was sentenced to death for the rape and killing of a woman in northern Arkansas.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the majority in the decision Monday night.

A second execution is planned for later Monday, though inmate Marcel Williams still has pending appeals.

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5:40 p.m.

Arkansas is moving forward with preparations to conduct the first double execution in the U.S. since 2000.

No stays are in place for inmates Jack Jones and Marcel Williams, though both have legal challenges pending. The first execution is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves says the inmates were both served last meals Monday afternoon. According to Graves, Jones had fried chicken, potato logs with tartar sauce, beef jerky bites, three candy bars, a chocolate milkshake and fruit punch.

Graves says Williams had fried chicken, banana pudding, nachos, two sodas and potato logs with ketchup.

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5:10 p.m.

A condemned Arkansas inmate is again asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to stop his execution, arguing that his previous attorney plagiarized a court filing.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has repeatedly declined to stop Marcel Williams' execution, one of two planned for Monday night. In a late afternoon court filing, Williams asked justices for a stay of execution so he can argue claims that his prior attorneys were ineffectual.

The court filing says that nearly 10 pages of an earlier appeal "was cut and pasted verbatim from a 1961 United States Supreme Court case."

Williams is also asking the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay, saying that his trial attorneys did not present evidence of abuse that Williams suffered as a child during sentencing.

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2:30 p.m.

A federal appeals panel has rejected another legal challenge for an Arkansas inmate set for lethal injection as the state presses forward with its plan to conduct the first double execution in the U.S. since 2000.

Marcel Williams had argued that his morbid obesity and diabetes could lead to "severe pain and serious harm" during his lethal injection Monday night. A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Williams' request for stay Monday afternoon.

Jack Jones, the other inmate facing execution Monday night, has also lost his appeals so far and is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his lethal injection.

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12:40 p.m.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected requests for stays of execution from two inmates set to die in the nation's first double execution since 2000.

Jack Jones Jr. and Marcel Williams had asked the state's highest court to stop their executions, which are set for Monday night. Arkansas is trying to use a sedative that expires at the end of the month, and if the men don't receive lethal injections as scheduled their executions will be off indefinitely. The state has said it has no new source for midazolam.

In separate one-paragraph orders, justices said they would not reopen the men's cases and refused to issue stays of execution.

Jones is scheduled to die at 7 p.m., with Williams' execution set for 8:15 p.m.

A federal appeals court on Monday also rejected a stay request for Jones, while a stay request from Williams is still pending.

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12 p.m.

A federal appeals court has rejected an Arkansas inmate's request for a stay of execution for the rape and killing of a woman more than two decades ago.

Jack Jones Jr. says his lethal injection could be cruel and unusual because he is diabetic and overweight. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his request Monday, hours before his scheduled execution.

Jones was convicted of raping and strangling Mary Phillips at a Bald Knob accounting office on June 6, 1995. He said that while the courts have upheld Arkansas' lethal injection protocol in general, the drugs will have a different impact on him because of his poor health. The court rejected his argument, and also said he should have filed his challenge earlier.

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1 a.m.

Two condemned Arkansas killers who admit they're guilty but fear poor health could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections might become the first inmates put to death in a double execution in the U.S. in more than 16 years.

Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are set to die Monday night. If put to death, they would be the second and third Arkansas inmates executed this month. Arkansas originally wanted to execute eight inmates before one of its lethal injection drugs expires at the end of the month in the nation's most aggressive execution schedule since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the death penalty in 1976.

Arkansas put Ledell Lee to death last week in its first execution since 2005. Another inmate, Kenneth Williams, is set for execution Thursday.

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