Arkansas executes murderers Jack Jones and Marcel Williams
The state of Arkansas has executed two prisoners on death row after the US Supreme Court rejected their last-minute appeals.
It is the first double execution on the same day in the US for 17 years.
Jack Jones and Marcel Williams were both sentenced to death for rapes and murders committed in the 1990s.
Arkansas initially planned to execute eight inmates in 11 days because its supply of a drug used in lethal injections expires in late April.
On Thursday, Ledell Lee became the first person to be executed in Arkansas since 2005.
Williams’ lawyers said that Jones was still moving more than five minutes after he received the lethal injection that was supposed to make him unconscious.
Witnesses quoted by local media however disputed their version of events. arguing that Jones had showed no signs of distress.
Jones was convicted in 1996 of raping and strangling Mary Phillips and attempting to murder her 11-year-old daughter.
Jones in his final utterance apologised to the girl he nearly killed, who is now grown up.
“I hope over time you could learn who I really am and I am not a monster,” witnesses quoted him as saying,
The two men were among eight that the state wanted to execute over the course of 11 days in April – before its supplies of midazolam expired.
Four of the scheduled executions have been delayed by the courts.
Arkansas Supreme Court last week threw out the manufacturer’s lawsuit, which had argued that the state did not make clear it wished to use the supplies for executions.