Arkansas

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Lawyers Say Inmate's Execution Was 'Horrifying'

Reporter says Kenneth Williams jerked violently

(Newser) - Arkansas wrapped up an accelerated executions schedule with a lethal injection that left the condemned inmate lurching and convulsing before he died, prompting calls for investigations and renewed scrutiny of the state's efforts to put multiple inmates to death on a compressed timeline, per the AP . An AP reporter... More »

Arkansas Inmate Spoke in Tongues Before Execution

It was state's 4th execution in 8 days

(Newser) - Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days Thursday night, wrapping up an accelerated schedule of lethal injections that was set to beat the expiration date of one of the drugs. Kenneth Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11:05pm, 13 minutes after the execution began at the Cummins Unit... More »

Victim's Family's Kind Act Surprises Death Row Inmate

Family paid for Kenneth Williams' daughter to fly to Arkansas

(Newser) - Kayla Greenwood understands the desire to see one's father a final time. In 1999, when she was 5, Greenwood’s dad was killed when an escaped prisoner in a stolen truck slammed into his vehicle during a police chase. That escaped prisoner, convicted of killing two others, is now... More »

Back-to-Back Executions on Same Arkansas Gurney

2nd inmate was in death chamber when he won temporary stay

(Newser) - Arkansas carried out the nation's first double execution since 2000 Monday night, executing Marcel Williams on the same gurney Jack Jones died on hours earlier. Both men had called for the executions to be halted because of their poor health . The AP reports that Jones, 52, was executed on... More »

Lawyers: 2 Arkansas Inmates Too Unhealthy for Execution

Federal judges deny effort to halt double execution

(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... More »

Last Meal of Holy Communion, Then Arkansas Executes Inmate

US Supreme Court voted 5-4 not to intervene

(Newser) - After 12 years and hundreds of hours of legal battles, the state of Arkansas has successfully taken a man's life. Ledell Lee, a convicted murderer who'd been on death row for more than 20 years, was executed late Thursday after the US Supreme Court decided not to intervene,... More »

Arkansas Court Blocks Another Planned Execution

Stacey Johnson can pursue his requests for enhanced DNA testing

(Newser) - The Arkansas Supreme Court has halted one of two executions planned for Thursday night, once again throwing a wrench in the state's plans to conduct several executions before the end of April, when one of its lethal injection drugs expires, the AP reports. The court ruled that Stacey Johnson... More »

'Chaotic' Day Ends With SCOTUS Sparing Ark. Inmate

Don Davis' death warrant has now expired

(Newser) - The US Supreme Court spared the life of an Arkansas inmate minutes before his death warrant was set to expire Monday, scuttling the state's efforts to carry out four double executions before its supply of a lethal injection drug expires. The court's decision to maintain the Arkansas Supreme... More »

2 Big Hurdles Lifted in Arkansas Execution Plan

But it's unclear whether first two executions will take place as scheduled

(Newser) - State and federal courts lifted the two primary obstacles Arkansas faced in its plan to execute eight inmates before the end of April, but the state backed away from legal efforts to carry out one of the first two lethal injections scheduled Monday night, the AP reports. The decisions from... More »

Courts Halt Arkansas Multiple Execution Plan

State running out of time for 7 executions

(Newser) - Arkansas' goal of executing seven inmates in 11 days before its supply of lethal injection drugs expires may be a dead plan walking after two court rulings Friday. In the first ruling, the state Supreme Court temporarily stayed the execution of convicted killer Bruce Earl Ward, NPR reports. Attorneys for... More »

With Arkansas Executions Set to Begin, a New Foe Steps Up

Drugmakers say they don't want their drugs used in capital punishment

(Newser) - Two pharmaceutical companies asked a federal judge Thursday to prevent Arkansas from using their drugs to execute seven inmates by the end of the month, saying they object to their products being used for capital punishment, reports the AP . Fresenius Kabi USA and West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp. were granted permission to... More »

Judge Might Block Arkansas' Plan to Execute 7 Inmates

Opponents warn of risk of botched executions

(Newser) - Arkansas is preparing to execute seven death row inmates in 11 days because it wants to carry out the sentences before its supply of an execution drug expires May 1. Judge Kristine Baker, who was appointed to US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas by President Barack Obama,... More »

Judge Blocks One of 8 Arkansas Executions

He will allow at least 5 to go ahead this month

(Newser) - A judge on Thursday blocked the execution of one of the eight inmates Arkansas was planning to put to death this month , but he said at least five of them could go forward even though he found that the state broke some rules and policies. US District Judge D. Price... More »

No One Wants to Watch Arkansas' Executions

The state is attempting to carry out 8 executions in 10 days next month

(Newser) - Arkansas hasn't carried out an execution since 2005 due to legal challenges and the availability of necessary drugs. It's apparently ready to make up for lost time. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has scheduled eight executions over 10 days in April. There will be two executions by lethal injection per... More »

Teen Finds 'Superman's Diamond' in Arkansas Park

The 7.44 carat diamond is 7th largest found at park in nearly 50 years

(Newser) - A teenager has found a 7.44 carat diamond at a state park in southwestern Arkansas, the AP reports. Officials at Crater of Diamonds State Park at Murfreesboro say the rock found Saturday by 14-year-old Kalel Langford is the seventh largest found since the park was established in 1972. The... More »

8 Men Are Set to Die in Arkansas. Here's Why That's 'Unprecedented'

8 are set to take place over 10 days

(Newser) - Arkansas hasn't executed anyone in 11 years—but between April 17 and April 27, eight men will be put to death, an "unprecedented" move in the US, according to a group that monitors executions in the country. Nine inmates had asked the US Supreme Court to review the... More »

Amazon Defends Alexa's 1st Amendment Rights in Murder Case

Police want recordings from the suspect's Amazon Echo

(Newser) - Does Alexa have First Amendment rights? That's one of the questions at the heart of a legal battle between Amazon and Arkansas police. Victor Collins was found dead in James Bates' hot tub back in 2015, and Bates has been charged in his friend's murder. Believing an Amazon... More »

Mom Uses YouTube Videos to Build a Home With Her Kids

Cara Brookins could afford the land, but not a new home. So they built it themselves

(Newser) - In 2008, Cara Brookins had just left a husband she describes as "physically violent" and wanted desperately to give her four children a home where they'd each have their own room. Her solution? She began studying home-construction tutorials on YouTube. The computer analyst calculated that she could afford... More »

Teacher Resigns Over Racist Posts About Obamas

He allegedly called them 'spider monkey,' 'first chimp'

(Newser) - An Arkansas high school teacher has resigned as parents and students were planning to boycott school events in response to his references to Barack and Michelle Obama as "spider monkey" and "first chimp." The online posts attributed to Trent Bennett of Malvern High School have since been... More »

Arrest Made in Road-Rage Killing of 3-Year-Old Boy

Gary Holmes charged with murder of Acen King in Little Rock, Ark.

(Newser) - A suspect has been nabbed in an Arkansas road-rage case that left a 3-year-old boy dead last week. Confirmation comes via the US Marshals that Gary Holmes was arrested in connection with the murder of Acen King, who was killed after a man shot at the car he was riding... More »

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