Lawyers: 2 Arkansas Inmates Too Unhealthy for Execution
Federal judges deny effort to halt double execution
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 24, 2017 12:33 AM CDT
In this Sept. 7, 2007 photo, Arkansas death-row inmate Jack Harold Jones Jr., speaks at his clemency hearing at the states Varner Unit in Varner, Ark.   (AP Photo/Mike Wintroath)
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(Newser) – Two Arkansas inmates scheduled to be put to death Monday in what could be the nation's first double execution in more than 16 years asked an appeals court on Sunday to halt their lethal injections because of poor health that could cause complications. Lawyers for Jack Jones and Marcel Williams asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sunday to grant them stays of execution, the AP reports. Jones' lawyers say he suffers from diabetes and is on insulin, has high blood pressure, neuropathy, and had one leg amputated below the knee. They say he may be resistant to the lethal injection drug midazolam because of the drugs he is taking for his maladies and could suffer a "tortuous death."

Lawyers for Williams say he weighs 400 pounds and it will be difficult to find a vein for lethal injection, so the drugs are unlikely to work as intended. The state said the appeals are just delaying tactics and should be denied. It is not clear when the appeals court will rule. Arkansas originally wanted to execute eight inmates in 11 days by the end of April when its supply of midazolam expires. It put to death Ledell Lee last week in the state's first execution since 2005. But four of the eight inmates have had their executions blocked by the courts. Jones and Williams are scheduled to die on Monday and another inmate, Kenneth Williams, is set for execution Thursday.

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