Saskatoon StarPhoenix


- The Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. The Arkansas governor said Friday that he sees no reason for anything beyond a routine review of the state’s execution procedures after a condemned inmate lurched and convulsed 20 times during a lethal injection.

Attorneys for Kenneth Williams and the American Civil Liberties Union have called for a full investigat­ion after Williams became the fourth convicted killer executed in Arkansas in eight days. The state sought to carry out as many lethal injections as possible before one of its drugs expires Sunday.

“I think it’s totally unjustifie­d,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters when asked about the possibilit­y of an independen­t probe. “You don’t call for an independen­t investigat­ion unless there’s some reason for it. Last night, one of the goals was there not be any indication­s of pain by the inmate, and that’s what I believe is the case.”

Hutchinson said Williams’ execution will be reviewed by the Department of Correction, which is typical any time an inmate is put to death.

A reporter who witnessed the execution said that about three minutes in, Williams’ body jerked 15 times in quick succession, lurching violently against the leather restraint across his chest.

Williams’ attorneys released a statement calling the witness accounts “horrifying.” The ACLU of Arkansas argued that the state may have violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibitio­n of cruel and unusual punishment.

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