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11:40, 23 March 2018 Friday
07:43, 25 April 2017 Tuesday

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US state executes two inmates hours apart
US state executes two inmates hours apart

Arkansas carries out nation's first double execution since 2000 in bid to avoid lethal drug expiration

World Bulletin / News Desk

Two inmates on death row in the U.S. state of Arkansas were executed Monday by lethal injection within hours of each other, state officials said.

Marcel Williams, convicted for the 1994 rape and killing of Stacy Errickson, was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m. (0233GMT Tuesday), 17 minutes after the procedure began. Williams' death warrant was to expire midnight (0400GMT Tuesday).

His death came after U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker removed a stay she issued after Williams' attorneys claimed that inmate Jack Jones suffered during his execution earlier in the evening.

Jones was convicted for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips. He was pronounced dead at 9:20, 14 minutes after he was administered the lethal drug midazolam.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson called it a "reflective and serious time" for the people of Arkansas, while Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said the executions brought peace to the families.

Arkansas had eight executions scheduled over an 11-day period before the end of April, when its midazolam supply expires.

One inmate was executed last week but the first three executions were stayed after court rulings.

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