Arkansas Execution
Arkansas executed two death row inmates, Jack Harold Jones, 52 and Marcel Wayne Williams, 46, April 24, 2017. In this photo, inmates Bruce Ward (top row, left to right), Don Davis, Ledell Lee, Stacy Johnson, Jack Jones (bottom row, left to right), Marcel Williams, Kenneth Williams and Jason Mcgehee are shown in these booking photo, provided March 21, 2017. Courtesy Arkansas Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS

Arkansas executed two death row inmates Monday night, making it the first state since 2000 to carry out back-to-back executions in one day. Jack Harold Jones, 52, and Marcel Wayne Williams, 46, were both convicted of murder and rape.

The Arkansas Department of Corrections administered lethal injections to the inmates. Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. EDT after he was given the injection at 7:06 p.m. EDT. Williams was declared dead after he was administered the same injection about three hours later, at 10:33 p.m. EDT, following denial by federal and state courts of last-minute appeals to stay the executions. The appeals were based on the inmates’ health and the efficiency of Arkansas’s three-drug cocktail.

J.R. Davisa, a spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, called the executions "flawless."

Hutchinson issued an order in February to execute eight men in 10 days from April 17-27 because the state's stock of midazolam, an important lethal injection drug, expires at the end of the month. However, four of the eight men received stays or delays of their executions, and their cases will come up for hearing in courts on or after April 30.

"A governor never asks for this responsibility, but I accept it as part of the solemn pledge I made to uphold the law," said Hutchinson in a statement after Jones' execution. He also issued a statement speaking about the execution of Williams and offered condolences to the victim's family.

Williams was sentenced to death in 1997 for kidnapping, raping and murdering 22-year-old Stacy Errickson in Jacksonville. He was also convicted of abducting and raping two other women. Williams did not issue any final statement before his execution, after which Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement, offering condolences to the victim's family.

Jones admitted the murder and rape of Mary Phillips, a 34-year-old bookkeeper in 1995. Phillips was found with a coffee-pot cord tied around her neck in her office. Jones also beat up Mary's 11-year-old daughter Lacy, who went along with her mother to work. However, Lacy survived.

Jones issued a final statement before his execution, which included an apology to his victims' families.

"I hope over time you could learn who I really am, and that I am not a monster," he said.

Rutledge released another statement following Jones' execution.

Arkansas executed Ledell Lee on April 20, minutes before his death warrant expired. Lee was convicted in 1995, after he murdered Debra Reese in February 1993 at her home in Jacksonville. His death was the first execution carried out by Arkansas since 2005.