left right Inmate Jack Jones is shown in this booking photo provided March 21, 2017. Courtesy Arkansas Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS 1/2 left right Inmate Marcel Williams is shown in this booking photo provided March 21, 2017. Courtesy Arkansas Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS 2/2 By Steve Barnes | LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. A U.S. judge cleared the way for Arkansas to carry out its second execution of the day late on Monday, after briefly halting the procedure following an emergency appeal by the condemned man, Marcel Williams.
U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker in Little Rock, Arkansas, said in a brief order that the execution of Williams could proceed, a little more than an hour after she granted his request for a temporary stay.
The stay had come just minutes before Williams, 46, was scheduled to begin undergoing the lethal injection process and approximately an hour after Jack Jones, 52, was pronounced dead by state officials.
The two men were among eight that the state had initially planned to execute over the course of 11 days this month, prompted by the impending expiration date of the state's supplies of midazolam, a sedative used as part of the three-drug protocol.
Four of those executions have been put on hold by court order.
Arkansas would become the first state to put multiple people to death on the same day since Texas in 2000.
Jones was convicted of raping and killing Mary Phillips, 34, in 1995 and trying to murder her 11-year-old daughter. He also was convicted of rape and murder in Florida.
Williams was convicted of the 1997 kidnapping, rape and murder of 22-year-old Stacy Errickson. He also abducted and raped two other women.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Bill Trott & Simon Cameron-Moore)