Little Rock, Arkansas. The State of Arkansas took it upon itself to take the lives of four convicted criminals in an assembly line of death. The action has been condemned by the UN, OSCE and numerous international human rights organizations.
The state of Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days, bringing to an end a month described as the state’s “conveyor belt of death”.Kenneth Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11.05pm on Thursday after being administered a lethal injection.
Arkansas department of corrections, which had not held an execution in 12 years until April, had already put three other inmates to death since April 20 but does not have a schedule to execute any more inmates.
The unprecedented schedule was set by Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson because a drug in the state’s execution protocol, the sedative midazolam, expires at the end of April. Midazolam has been used in troubled executions in Oklahoma and Arizona, where witnesses said inmates appeared to twist in pain on death row gurneys.
The state prison had initially planned to execute eight inmates in 11 days in April, the most of any state in so short a period since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
Four of those executions were halted by various courts.The quick pace prompted criticism that Arkansas was acting recklessly.
Death penalty critics say the valium-like drug is not suitable to render a person unconscious for surgery and should not be used in executions, which use drugs to stop breathing and the heart.
The prisoner Williams, was sentenced to life without parole for the 1998 murder of 19-year-old college cheerleader Dominique Hurd, Williams then broke out of a maximum-security prison in 1999 after serving less than a month behind bars.
He murdered Cecil Boren, 57 at his farmhouse, shooting him numerous times, before stealing Boren’s pickup truck and driving to Missouri, where he slammed his vehicle into one driven by delivery man Michael Greenwood, 24, killing him.