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Arkansas Poised To Carry Out Its Fourth Execution This Month

State prosecutors called the claims meritless and in a 1-page order Wednesday, the Arkansas Supreme Court denied two motions to stay his execution.

Williams was sentenced to death for killing Cecil Boren after escaping from the Cummins Unit prison in a 1890-litre barrel of hog slop.

Thirty-two states, as well as the U.S. federal government, use lethal injection as their primary method for execution. Jones' spiritual advisor described it as "a sort of gurgling". After Williams escaped from Cummins, he shot Cecil seven times in his home, stole his truck and guns and drove to Missouri, where he crashed the vehicle, killing Michael Greenwood.

All requests to stay his execution have been denied, reports KATV.

Episcopalians in Arkansas are preparing to gather once more for a prayer service on the eve of what is expected to be the final in a series of expedited executions by the state, which activists say could give momentum to efforts to abolish the death penalty.

Williams' escape from prison occurred 18 days after he began serving a sentence of life without parole for the December 13, 1998, kidnapping and slaying of 19-year-old Dominique Hurd, a University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff cheerleader from Fort Worth.

"After the state injects Mr. Williams with vecuronium bromide. most or all of the manifestations of his extreme pain and suffering will not be discernible to witnesses", they wrote to the court.

The three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected several requests from Williams, who is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. Thursday. While in prison, he confessed to killing another person in 1998. There, he crashed into a water-delivery truck, killing the driver, Michael Greenwood. Williams' attorneys had argued that Williams is intellectually disabled and ineligible for execution, and that there was misconduct and bias among the jury in his trial. In Monday's first execution, for instance, lawyers for Jack Jones said medical technicians took 45 minutes to find a way to deliver lethal drugs.

Williams, 38, appeared less grateful when he initially avoided the death penalty for the 1998 murder of a college cheerleader, reportedly taunting the victim's family after his sentence of life in prison was read out.

Also Thursday, Harvard Law School's Fair Punishment Project asked to file a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Williams' request, arguing that his claims of intellectual disability have not been fully explored. Williams' lawyers pointed to that execution in a filing Thursday with the Arkansas Supreme Court. Previously, they asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a similar question. The Lincoln County Circuit Court said jurors considered that during Williams' sentencing phase.

A day after convicting Williams, the jury heard additional testimony in the sentencing phase of the trial and on August 30, 2000, sentenced Williams to death.

Jason McGehee had been scheduled to die Thursday night, but a federal judge said he was entitled to a 30-day comment period after the state Parole Board recommended clemency.

Despite requests from the media since the 1990s, the Arkansas prison system does not let citizen witnesses watch guards escort the inmate to the death chamber or watch the placement of intravenous lines.

Arkansas' supply of midazolam, normally a surgical sedative, expires on Sunday.

State officials declared the previous three executions a success.

A lawyer for some of the inmates said Wednesday that it would be good to track the various stages of the execution. One lawyer filed a federal court claim saying the inmate was "gulping" for air and that a second execution Monday shouldn't go forward.



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