AP Radio AP Radio News:

Apr 28, 2:21 PM EDT

The Latest: Professor questions state account of execution

AP Photo
AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel

Inside the Texas Death Chamber
Supreme Court Oral Arguments: Is Lethal Injection Unconstitutional?
Iconic Texas Executions
Views on the Death Penalty: A Global Perspective

Death Penalty by State
Letter requesting a stay of execution for Claude Jones
Then-Gov. George W. Bush's reply to Jone's reprieve request
Ohio struggles to get advice on lethal injection
Nebraska Supreme Court's Ruling on the Electric Chair (02/08/08)
Latest News
Arkansas governor dismisses calls for full execution probe

Witnessing death: AP reporters describe problem executions

Alabama governor says no new DNA test for death row inmate

The Latest: Professor questions state account of execution

A glance at some of the recent executions around the globe

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The Latest on the final execution in Arkansas before the state's supply of a lethal injection drug expires at the end of the month (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

A lethal injection expert and law professor says Arkansas' explanation for an inmate who appeared to convulse during a lethal injection doesn't make sense.

Kenneth Williams was the fourth Arkansas inmate executed in eight days. Witnesses say he lurched and convulsed 20 times while being put to death.

Deborah Denno of Fordham University says the accelerated schedule adopted by Arkansas to put to death eight inmates in 11 days increased the risk of problems. She says state officials typically describe execution irregularities as minor or normal but that it was hard to accept Arkansas' account.

Denno says Williams' execution along with a lawsuit brought by one of the drug suppliers will result in drug companies taking more steps to prevent their products from being sold to the state.


11:20 a.m.

The Arkansas governor says he sees no reason for anything beyond a routine review of execution procedures after an inmate lurched and convulsed 20 times during a lethal injection.

Asa Hutchinson told reporters Friday that the execution of Kenneth Williams will be reviewed by the Department of Correction. That's typical anytime an inmate is put to death.

Williams' attorneys and the American Civil Liberties Union have called for a full investigation.

Hutchinson says the use of the sedative midazolam has been upheld by courts. He says he doesn't think Arkansas needs to change its lethal-injection protocol.


6:25 a.m.

The American Civil Liberties Union says Arkansas may have subjected a death row inmate to cruel and unusual punishment in its rush to use a lethal injection drug before it expires, following reports that the man convulsed and lurched during his execution.

Rita Sklar, the executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, has called for an investigation into witness accounts of Kenneth Williams' execution to "determine whether the state tortured" him.

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed Williams' execution Thursday says his body jerked 15 times in quick succession about three minutes into the process. He lurched violently against the leather chest restraint, then the rate slowed for a final five movements.

Sklar said in a statement Friday that Gov. Asa Hutchinson "ignored the dangers" to beat the Sunday expiration date of the state's supply of midazolam.


3 a.m.

The last of four Arkansas executions over an eight-day period has prompted calls for investigations after the inmate lurched and convulsed while strapped to the gurney.

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed Kenneth Williams' execution Thursday said that about three minutes into the lethal injection, his body jerked 15 times in quick succession. He lurched violently against the leather chest restraint, then the rate slowed for a final five movements.

One of Williams' attorneys called the execution "horrifying." A spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson called it "an involuntary muscular reaction."

The compressed lethal injection timeline could attract more scrutiny after Williams' death. Arkansas sought to carry out as many lethal injections as possible before one of its drugs expires Sunday. It executed four prisoners, while four others received court stays.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.