Judge orders evidence preserved from execution

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):

6:20 p.m.

A federal judge has granted a request from attorneys to preserve evidence from the body of an inmate who lurched and convulsed on the gurney during his Thursday night execution.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ordered the Department of Correction on Friday to request the state medical examiner collect blood and tissue samples from the body of Kenneth Williams, who was put to death late Thursday. Baker also ordered the department request the medical examiner conduct an autopsy.

Baker ordered the blood and tissue samples preserved until a further order from her court.

Attorneys are seeking a full investigation of Williams’ execution, but Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the state will conduct only a routine review that’s done after every lethal injection.

Arkansas put four inmates to death this month. Four other prisoners who were set for execution received stays.

___

4 p.m.

Arkansas is opposing a request from attorneys to preserve evidence from Thursday night’s execution of an inmate who lurched and convulsed on the gurney.

The attorney general’s office says Kenneth Williams’ “coughing and muscle spasms” were associated with the use of midazolam, which is the first drug in Arkansas’ lethal injection protocol. The court filing says those movements “are not indicative of any degree of pain or suffering.”

Attorneys representing several death row inmates have asked a federal judge to preserve evidence from Williams’ execution and to order a blood draw from his body before 8 p.m. Friday.

The state’s response also says: “The drugs worked as intended and planned.”

___

2 p.m.

Attorneys representing several death row inmates are asking a federal judge to force Arkansas to preserve evidence from the execution of a prisoner who lurched and convulsed on the gurney.

The attorneys want Arkansas to preserve all physical evidence from the body of Kenneth Williams, who was executed late Thursday.

The court filing seeks a blood draw from Williams’ body before 8 p.m. Friday.

Attorneys are seeking a full investigation of Williams’ execution, but Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the state will conduct only a routine review that’s done after every lethal injection.

Arkansas put four inmates to death this month. Four other prisoners who were set for execution received stays.

___

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…

Read the full article at the Original Source..

Back to Top