(NBC News) Arkansas carried out the executions of two death row inmates Monday, the first double execution in the United States since 2000.
Jack Jones, convicted of raping and killing a woman, was put to death by lethal injection. He was pronounced dead at 7:20 local time.
Marcel Williams, also a convicted killer and rapist, received a temporary stay, but that stay was lifted. His sentence was carried out just three hours later.
Arkansas had planned eight executions in 10 days before a drug used to sedate the inmates expires. Four men were granted stays.
“This is significant because at no point in modern American history has any state ever attempted to carry out so many executions in such a short period of time,” says Death Penalty Information Center Executive Director Robert Dunham.
Death penalty opponents have protested the executions, but the spokesman for Arkansas’s governor insists the right thing is being done.
“Tonight was another opportunity for justice, and that’s what was carried out,” said J.R. Davis.
The state’s next scheduled execution is Thursday.
Read more: http://nbcnews.to/2q0hUoF