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US state executes 2 inmates

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Washington, April 25 (IANS) The state of Arkansas executed two convicted criminals, a first of its kind in the US since 2000, the media reported.

Both the executions were carried out on Monday night, The New York Times reported.

Jack H. Jones Jr., 52, and Marcel Williams, 46, both died from the injection of a three-drug combination, after a flurry of failed, last-ditch appeals.

The executions in the death chamber at the Cummings Unit, a state prison southwest of Pine Bluff, came four days after the state put to death another convict, the state’s first lethal injection in more than a decade, Ledell Lee.

Jones was sentenced to death in 1996 for raping and killing Mary Phillips, reports The Washington Post.

According to court records, Jones stalked and killed Phillips, a book-keeper, and before killing her, he beat her 11-year-old daughter so severely that police thought she was dead when they got to the scene.

Williams was sentenced to death in 1997 for abducting, robbing, raping and killing Stacy Errickson, who was 22 and was living at the Little Rock Air Force Base while her husband was serving overseas.

Monday’s second execution was briefly delayed by a federal judge so she could consider claims that the first lethal injection may have been botched, but she lifted that stay shortly before 9.30 p.m.

A fourth man, Kenneth Williams, is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, reports The Washington Post.

Arkansas hoped to resume executions this month by carrying out eight death sentences in 11 days because its supply of one of the drugs has an April 30 expiration date.

However, the unprecedented schedule has been thwarted by court orders blocking half of those lethal injections.

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