ARKANSAS (USA): KENNETH WILLIAMS EXECUTED
April 27, 2017:
Kenneth Williams, 38, Black, was executed with a lethal injection that left the prisoner lurching and convulsing 20 times before he died. (Source: decaturdaily.com, Associated Press, 27/04/2017)
He was the fourth inmate executed in eight days.
Williams was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m., 13 minutes after the execution began at the Cummins Unit prison at Varner. An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the lethal injection said Williams' body jerked 15 times in quick succession, then the rate slowed for a final five movements. J.R. Davis, a spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson who did not witness the execution, called it "an involuntary muscular reaction" that he said was a widely known effect of the sedative midazolam, the first of three drugs administered. Shawn Nolan, one of Williams' attorneys, says accounts of the lethal injection are "horrifying." Nolan said in a statement that he's requesting "a full investigation into tonight's problematic execution." Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before one of its lethal injection drugs expires on Sunday. That would have been the most in such a compressed period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, but courts issued stays for four of the inmates. "The long path of justice ended tonight and Arkansans can reflect on the last two weeks with confidence that our system of laws in this state has worked," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement issued after the execution. "Carrying out the penalty of the jury in the Kenneth Williams case was necessary. There has never been a question of guilt."
Arkansas scheduled the executions for the final two weeks of April because its supply of midazolam, normally a surgical sedative, expires on Sunday.
Williams was sentenced to death in 2000. While serving a life without parole prison term for the murder of Dominique Hurd, 19, Black, that he committed in December 1998, he escaped from prison and killed two more people. At that point, he was put back in prison and sentenced to death. That time the victim was Dominique Hurd, 19, Black. Williams was instead sentenced to death in 2000 for killing 57-year-old Cecil Boren on October 3, 1999, after escaping from the Cummins Unit prison. Williams was recaptured several days later following a high-speed chase, which resulted in Williams crashing into a truck and killing the driver.
In 2005, while in prison, in a 512-page letter to a newspaper, he wrote that he shot and killed Jerrell Jenkins, 36, the same day that he fatally shot Hurd. Police had listed Jenkins' death as unsolved. Williams becomes the 4th inmate to be executed this year in Arkansas, the 31st since the state resumed executions in 1990, the 10th this year in the USA, and the n° 1452 since the USA resumed executions in 1977.