By: Savannah Smith | 04-25-2017 | News
Photo credit: Arkansas Department of Corrections

First Double Execution Since 2000


In 1994, Marcel Williams committed armed robbery then kidnapped, raped and murdered Stacy Erickson, a young mother of two. Williams confessed to the crime and was sentenced to death by a jury of his peers. And now he's dead.

Update: In 1995, Jack Jones raped and killed Mary Philips and then tried to kill her 11-year-old daughter. He was also convicted of another rape and killing in Florida. He was sentenced to death by a jury of his peers. And now he's dead.

Two condemned Arkansas inmates who are set to be executed tonight in the country's first double executions since 2000 have just been administered their last meals.

Inmate Jack Jones had three pieces of fried chicken, potato logs with tartar sauce, a chocolate milkshake with Butterfingers pieces, beef jerky bites and fruit punch. He is set to go by lethal injection at 7p.m. tonight.

Convicted murderer Marcel Williams had three pieces of fried chicken, potato logs with ketchup, nachos with chili cheese and jalapenos, banana pudding, and two Mountain Dews. He is scheduled to be executed at 8:15 tonight.

Both condemned inmates have made urgent last minute pleas to the U.S. Supreme Court to halt their executions and review their cases, but the high court has yet to issue a decision yet. If the high court does not issue a decision to stay the executions anytime in the next hour or so, the administration of the capital punishment for Jones and Williams will go as scheduled.

Williams' lawyers asked this afternoon the state Supreme Court to review his case because they claimed that his previous attorneys plagiarized a good deal of their argument against his execution. Williams' new lawyer Scott Braden said the previous attorney's decision to plagiarize denied him a "meaningful appellate review". Braden argued that therefore the state Supreme Court should look over the case anew and grant a stay of the execution.

The Arkansas Solicitor General said this afternoon that Jones' eleventh-hour, last ditch attempt to ask for a stay of his execution, on the other hand, should be denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Williams also asked the U.S. Supreme Court this afternoon to issue an injunction and review his previous argument that because of his current weight, lethal injection would be " cruel and unusual". Williams' lawyers pointed to his particular health conditions- extreme obesity, diabetes, neuropathy, obstructive sleep apnea, and potassium deficiency as reasons why the State will not be able to carry out the lethal injection protocol without causing the inmate extreme suffering.

A jury found Jones guilty of rape and murder of Mary Phillips, 34, and the attempted murder of her daughter. Williams was found guilty by the jury of killing Stacy Ericckson, a 22-year-old mother of two.

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