Episode 3 Life and Death Row


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Episode 3

Documentary series. Two men, both admitting to brutal attacks on women, are the next in line to be executed, as time continues to run out for the State.


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This programme contains scenes which some viewers may find disturbing and some strong language

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-AUTOMATED VOICE:

-This is a free call from an inmate at Varner Unit.

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You may start the conversation now.

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It was awful.

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Just the not knowing for so long.

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If it's the law of the land and the jury metes out that punishment,

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then that should be carried out.

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We're here today to stop the executions.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Why are we protesting? They're doing the right thing.

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Those trials were 20... Some of them, over 20 years ago.

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He started to gasp and gulp and struggled to breathe,

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and that lasted for an hour and 57 minutes.

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Jeff just called me, the Arkansas Supreme Court

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gave him the stay on the DNA.

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Oh Judy, Judy, Judy, did they really?!

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We got a stay!

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Oh!

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Thank you, Jesus.

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Thank you.

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I am so sorry.

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Where the heck is this taking me? Like, seriously.

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-INTERVIEWER:

-What is it you're searching for at the moment?

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An ATM machine, because there's vending machines

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right there at the visitation and my brother has requested

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four Dr Peppers and some candy.

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So, as his little sister, I'm doing everything I can to find

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an ATM machine to get him his Dr Peppers before my visit today.

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-I got it. Yes!

-Success?

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Yes, now he can have a Dr Pepper, just don't let me forget to...

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To...

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bring it into the prison with me.

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The drive out to the prison is always the same.

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I just... I get butterflies in my stomach, I get nervous.

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The only thing that gives me peace, sometimes, is I look over and I love

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looking at these horses.

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These horses are always here, they're beautiful.

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You know, they're free to walk where they want, eat when they want.

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And then, 500 feet away, there's this.

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Yeah.

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And here we are.

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OK, you have to show your driver's licence and then you have

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to put your money in this little plastic bag, cos they put it

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through the screener.

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And that's what I'll use in the vending machine...

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to buy him his Dr Peppers.

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Hey, buddy.

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-Hey.

-How you doing?

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I'm a little mad.

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Yeah. I'm sorry, honey.

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Right.

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-REPORTER:

-During the past two decades on death row,

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Jones riddled with a series of medical issues,

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including diabetes, that caused him to lose one of his legs.

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He and his attorney argue all the medication he's on could render

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one of the lethal injection drugs useless.

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My fear, and his fear, is that the Midazolam will not take effect,

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there will be a burning sensation, and Jack will feel it and he'll feel

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like he's suffocating, and it'll be a very, very painful death.

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He's high-risk.

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They had a doctor come in and test all eight of them

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to determine who was going to be high-risk with the Midazolam,

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and Jack was high-risk.

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So, they know going in, it could very well be botched.

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-REPORTER:

-The last decision the governor has to make -

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whether to grant executive clemency for some of the inmates, which would

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commute their sentences to life without parole.

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An option Hutchinson says he'll maintain up until the end,

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with the victims' families close to his heart.

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Good afternoon, Chairman Feltz and members of the Board of Parole.

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My name is Chris Raff and I was the elected prosecuting attorney

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in the 17th Judicial District for 32 years.

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I prosecuted and tried the jury trial

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which convicted Jack Jones Jr of capital murder.

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On the afternoon of June 6th, 1995,

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34-year-old Mary Phillips was at work

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in the accounting and tax service where she served.

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She was a mother of three children, and a wife.

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Her 17-year-old daughter, Darla,

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had just dropped off her 11-year-old daughter, Lacey.

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That afternoon, Lacey had a four o'clock dental appointment.

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I didn't just drop her off, I got out of the car and then

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I walked inside the office and we were talking and laughing,

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no big deal.

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And my mom went to, you know, kiss me goodbye and tell me,

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"I love you."

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So that's one of the biggest positive things,

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is the last thing I said to my mom is,

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"I love you, I will see you later."

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I got in the car and went to my friend's to stay the night...

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..and they went back inside...

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and...

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..I never saw her again.

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That afternoon, Jack Jones Jr, carrying with him wire,

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latex gloves and a pistol, entered that business.

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He told them he was going to rob them and he began to tie them up

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with the wire he brought.

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He then took 11-year-old Lacey into a separate bathroom

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off of that room and sat her in a metal chair...

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..and he tied her to that chair.

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He went back to her mother...

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he raped her...

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he beat her, he strangled her.

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When she didn't die yet, he tore the cord off

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a Mr Coffee coffee maker and he strangled her until her death.

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Then Jack Jones Jr, the subject of why we're here today...

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..went back into the bathroom...

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..where Lacey said to him...

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"Please don't hurt my mama."

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And Jack told her...

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"I'm not going to hurt your mama, I'm here to hurt you."

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I was at home, shortly after midnight, when I received the call.

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At that time, I was living here in Bald Knob, so it only took me about,

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you know, five minutes or so to get to that location.

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This was one of the worst crimes I've ever worked on,

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especially for emotionally, you know, and stuff...

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because of the young girl involved.

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Cos one of the things I always did when I went to a crime scene,

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I like to go in from the beginning and do my photos and stuff.

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When I arrived, this door was to the tax office.

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I went in, Miss Phillips was lying on the floor.

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She'd obviously been raped...

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and strangled.

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When the scene was finally discovered by the police...

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..and they saw Mary, nude, tied up,

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beaten, raped, dead, laying on the floor,

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and of course they photographed that scene, and then one

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of the deputies noticed blood coming from a shut door,

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which was the door to the bathroom.

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He opened that door and told the other officers,

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"My God, we've got another one in here."

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It was awful, just a crack in the door, you could just see her.

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When I went in, she was tied to a chair.

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I took a picture, there was a flash of the light.

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And at the very moment...

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..he took the photograph, when the lens snapped,

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Lacey opened her eyes.

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I woke up. I heard...

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SHE MAKES A CLICKING SOUND

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..and I was like, "Is there someone there?

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"Hey, is there someone taking pictures?"

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You know, at this point in time, I never moved,

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and I turned my head and when I did, I heard a man say,

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"This one's alive."

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I thought she was dead.

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So, when she looked up at me, it was pretty much a shock.

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You know, I had no clue what was going on.

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I wasn't in pain, and I said, "Can you untie me, please?"

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And the man said, "Yes, ma'am, yes."

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I never thought, "Oh, gosh, my mom's dead,"

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or got scared or got... I never had a single emotion.

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Uh-uh.

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Lacey told us that the person that did this

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had a teardrop tattoo on his cheek

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and that is how the police got onto Jack Jones Jr.

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He admitted the rapes, the beating and the assaults

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on both Mary, which killed her, and the assault on Lacey,

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which he thought had killed her.

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They had to reconstruct my skull.

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I have metal plates that they had to put in my head.

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A bone underneath this eye here was broken, my jaw was fractured,

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I had over 1,000 staples and stitches in my head.

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What they titled her surgery as was a "Humpty Dumpty surgery,"

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because there were so many little pieces of the skull

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that were broken, small,

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they had to put her back together like Humpty Dumpty,

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and that's the way they explained it to her.

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I remember looking around and there was a nurse in there.

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I said, "Where's my mom?

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"I want to see my mom."

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I've been here before, this is not the first time I've been here,

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and me and my family have been here.

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You know, I came one time and said I had a four-year-old daughter.

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OK, well, now I have an 11-year-old daughter,

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the same age as I was when...

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When Mom was taken away from me and my family.

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And it's... It's ridiculous that we have had to live

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our whole life like this.

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He admitted to what he did,

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he needs to pay for it,

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and I don't want to live another day knowing that he's alive.

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You know, 21 years.

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I heard an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,

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and I think... I think it's time.

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So, thank you.

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Good morning.

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-ALL:

-Good morning.

-Y'all can do better than that.

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-Good morning.

-LOUDER:

-Good morning.

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Oh, now we've got it.

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We want to welcome you to this press conference

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to bring attention to a letter that has been signed onto

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by over 200 clergy members to bring attention

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to the scheduled executions here in our State.

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This letter will be delivered to the governor

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following this press conference.

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Speaking for us this morning is Dr Schnekloth,

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who's the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in America.

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I didn't ever anticipate as a pastor in the church that on Holy Week...

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..when I'm reading texts getting ready to preach on Good Friday about

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capital punishment, that there would be people in my State that were

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assigned the job to sort out all the details of execution

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on the days following Easter.

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It means that the same lithology I'm going through this week of

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remembering that there were soldiers and there were government officials

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who are doing the work necessary to kill Jesus,

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that the very following week people in my State are actually

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getting the medicines together, the cocktails together,

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the equipment together to kill these men.

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And if our governor is going to lead in a way that is humane,

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he's going to have to take a different action

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than the one he's trending towards right now and next week.

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I think he's a good man.

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What he can't do is what Pilot did...

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"..I wash my hands."

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-Right?

-APPLAUSE

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And so, we call on Governor Asa Hutchinson and Leslie Rutledge,

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the Attorney General, to do everything that they can

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to commute these sentences to life without parole,

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so that they will not have blood on their hands,

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and so that the world doesn't have to see Arkansas be the state

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that kills more people than any state in the history

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of the United States has in the last decades.

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We, the following faith leaders call, on Governor Asa Hutchinson

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to stop the upcoming scheduled executions

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and commute their sentences to life without parole.

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As faith leaders, we are opposed to the death penalty

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because we believe that, in spite of their actions,

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they retain the God-given dignity of human life,

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which must be respected.

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Yes, sir, I will receive it on behalf of the governor.

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-All right, thank you so much.

-OK, thank you, and where are you from?

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We are from Interfaith Arkansas, Faith Voices Arkansas.

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Interfaith Arkansas? Thank you.

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-Thank you so much.

-You're welcome.

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-Have a good day.

-You too.

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Death by execution is part of the law of Arkansas,

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as well as many states in the United States

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and our Federal Government.

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And so, when I took the oath of office as governor,

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I was sworn to uphold the laws of Arkansas,

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and this being one of them.

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And so, this is not a process that I started,

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this is a process that our law started,

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and I have to make the final signature to set the date,

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but it's really the end of a very long process

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that the victims have waited for decades to have these

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sentences carried out, and it was...

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It would have been inappropriate and wrong for me

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to delay that further.

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Is it the toughest decision you ever had to make as Governor?

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Yeah, I tried to excuse myself from the responsibility for it.

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But the fact remains that a governor who allows an execution

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to go forward has allowed that person to die.

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I think we have a lot of ambitious people in Arkansas,

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we have a lot of smart people in Arkansas.

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You know, we've had a president.

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Not that I cared for him, but we had one.

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As it stands right now, Arkansas is more of a conservative state

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than what it used to be.

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So, having conservative values and so forth, I'm pro the death penalty.

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Asa Hutchinson's a Republican, you know.

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It's up to him to decide whether they live or whether they die.

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I'll tell you what, right now I thank God

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I ain't got his job in all honesty, because that's serious.

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That is serious.

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Stacy was the life of the party.

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Kind of a spitfire.

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She done what she wanted to do and didn't care

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whether anybody liked it or not.

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She liked to have fun, she loved the kids.

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Her husband was overseas, he wasn't even around here to help her.

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We were living on the Rock Air Force Base,

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my dad was in the Airforce.

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We lived diagonally across the street from Stacy.

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She was ten years older, I was 12 and she was 22.

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So, I'd go over there even when I wasn't baby-sitting just to

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play with the kids and hang out.

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Stacy came and got me at about 6:30 that morning.

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I was maybe five, ten minutes in the house before she said

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that she had to run and get gas on her way to work,

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and then she was out the door.

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Two and a half hours later when the girls that worked with her,

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that lived on the base also...

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..she called me and wanted to know if I knew where she's at,

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and I said, "No, at work, I guess."

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And she said, "No, I'm at work and she's not here."

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We started just driving around...

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..to see if we could see anything of her.

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I saw her truck right behind a service station.

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It was unlocked, but there was a lot of receipts from ATMs in it.

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On Sunday, November the 20th of 1994,

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the mother of Stacy Errickson reported her missing.

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We knew that there had been some activity on her bank account.

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So on the 21st, we were able to obtain some photographs

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from the ATM, the automatic teller machines...

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from here in Jacksonville.

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The pictures show her on the passenger side of her vehicle...

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..and a black male driver of the vehicle.

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-You all right?

-Yeah.

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-MARCEL LAUGHS

-You can name one.

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During the interview process, we did not know

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the location of Stacy Errickson.

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I suspected that Marcel had actually abducted her

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and that she probably was no longer alive.

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So we were trying to get him to help us locate where Stacy was at,

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so the family could get closure.

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He admitted to abducting her,

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admitted to taking her to the ATM machines,

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but he also implicated two other subjects,

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and had also said that when he last saw her, she was alive.

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What's going through my mind is a game.

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We felt like he was living through what had happened,

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but was only putting someone else's name in his place.

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MARCEL SIGHS

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At no point during the interview did he confess

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to killing Stacy Errickson.

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So, after 13 hours of interview, we felt that he was not going

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to give us the location of Stacy Errickson,

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and the interview ended.

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They kept trying to find her and they couldn't find her nowhere.

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They had no idea, they was hunting through weeds and stuff.

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It was awful.

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Just the not knowing...

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..for so long.

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And it was only two weeks, but it felt like an eternity.

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On December 5th, two North Little Rock officers searching the area

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finally found the shallow grave.

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The coroner said when they redone the autopsy on her

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that he had strangled her...

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to death before he buried her.

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Marcel Williams was found guilty of kidnapping, rape and murder

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on Stacy Errickson, which he received the death penalty for.

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I'm here by myself.

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I know Stacy would have been here if she had been alive.

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It's hard and lonesome.

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It's an...

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..empty space.

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I've been waiting 23 years for them to finally get around to his day.

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I want it completely over with before I pass away.

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Marcel Williams is my boogie man.

0:32:340:32:38

He doesn't deserve any mercy.

0:32:380:32:40

I thank you to deny this monster clemency

0:32:430:32:46

and allow justice to be served.

0:32:460:32:49

Thank you for your time.

0:32:490:32:50

Thank you very much.

0:32:510:32:53

REPORTER: Currently, there are no legal blocks that would stop

0:33:010:33:04

Jack Jones' or Marcel Williams' executions,

0:33:040:33:07

and if things go according to the state's plan,

0:33:070:33:09

it will be Arkansas' first double execution since resuming

0:33:090:33:12

its lethal injection programme.

0:33:120:33:14

As of this point right now, there are no stays in place

0:33:160:33:19

for either Marcel Williams or Jack Jones, moving forward

0:33:190:33:22

to the execution set for Monday night.

0:33:220:33:26

But there are still a number of legal challenges that can develop.

0:33:260:33:28

Now, attorneys for both of these inmates,

0:33:280:33:30

they are appealing to the Eighth Circuit after a federal judge

0:33:300:33:33

denied a motion that claims Midazolam - it's the sedative used

0:33:330:33:36

in the legal injections - won't work on these inmates properly

0:33:360:33:40

because of their weight and also some other health issues.

0:33:400:33:42

Jack was a very vivacious child.

0:33:530:33:55

He was full of energy and we hung out together all the time.

0:33:550:33:59

This picture right here is just how I remember him,

0:34:000:34:03

with just that long hair and that smile.

0:34:030:34:07

He was cute, and the girls, you know, back then, called it...

0:34:070:34:10

He was "a fox" is what they would say, so...

0:34:100:34:13

-INTERVIEWER:

-Were there any signs as a child or...?

0:34:150:34:17

There were lots of signs very early on.

0:34:170:34:19

He just was never right.

0:34:190:34:21

He had hallucinations,

0:34:210:34:22

he would say that he saw bugs and spiders and people,

0:34:220:34:26

and he would get so agitated,

0:34:260:34:29

he'd sit and rock against a wall and bang his head.

0:34:290:34:33

When he'd get angry. you were very fearful of him.

0:34:330:34:36

When he was good, he was good, and when he was bad, he was bad.

0:34:360:34:39

There was no middle ground.

0:34:390:34:41

It's very sad because he could have gotten help back then,

0:34:410:34:44

but no-one did anything, and our family motto was always

0:34:440:34:48

to sweep things under the rug and not talk about it.

0:34:480:34:50

So he was just forced to deal with his mental issues on his own,

0:34:500:34:56

and Jack, unfortunately, turned to anger and rage and...

0:34:560:35:01

alcohol and drugs.

0:35:010:35:03

And that started his demise.

0:35:030:35:04

Gradually, over the years he just got worse and worse.

0:35:070:35:09

Drinking and then the pot,

0:35:110:35:12

and then the pot led to, you know, cocaine and acid,

0:35:120:35:16

and from there it just...

0:35:160:35:19

He would...

0:35:200:35:22

He was just a shell of nobody that I would even know any more.

0:35:220:35:25

And so, our relationship was very strained,

0:35:270:35:30

to the point at the time of the crime,

0:35:300:35:32

him and I really weren't on much speaking terms,

0:35:320:35:34

although in my heart I've always loved him.

0:35:340:35:36

And from that point on, you know, our relationship

0:35:380:35:40

after he went in prison took a 180,

0:35:400:35:44

and we're almost closer now today than we were when we were younger.

0:35:440:35:48

What's your favourite part of our relationship?

0:35:500:35:52

Wow. You're absolutely right there, brother.

0:36:010:36:04

I do.

0:36:060:36:07

What was life like for you at that time, when that crime was committed?

0:36:090:36:13

Right.

0:36:210:36:22

Right.

0:36:320:36:33

Are all commissioners ready?

0:36:580:37:00

All right, we're here today in the matter of Jack Harold Jones,

0:37:000:37:04

in the second clemency hearing.

0:37:040:37:06

Mr Rosenzweig, I'm sure that you'll comment on the fact

0:37:060:37:09

that your client is not here today for the hearing.

0:37:090:37:12

-Yes, sir, I'm prepared to comment.

-OK.

0:37:120:37:14

This is his stack of recent medical records.

0:37:140:37:19

Mr Jones is an amputee.

0:37:190:37:22

He has a wheelchair in his cell with him.

0:37:220:37:24

He has been on methadone here at the prison for a number of years.

0:37:240:37:28

He also suffers from diabetes, which was of course the cause

0:37:280:37:31

of his amputation, it is difficult for him to get around.

0:37:310:37:36

Nonetheless, he did knowingly and voluntarily decline to...

0:37:360:37:41

attend this hearing.

0:37:410:37:43

So, Mr Jones has said he does not want clemency to be heard.

0:37:430:37:47

-Is that correct?

-Mr Jones wrote this letter.

0:37:470:37:50

-Yes.

-The letter is addressed to Lacey, Mr Phillips

0:37:500:37:54

and the commissioners.

0:37:540:37:55

"I am so very, very sorry.

0:37:570:37:59

"I have not wanted clemency ever.

0:37:590:38:02

"There's no way...

0:38:020:38:03

"..in hell that I would spend another 20 years in this rat hole.

0:38:050:38:10

"Oh, hell no.

0:38:100:38:12

"I shall not ask to be forgiven, for I haven't the right.

0:38:120:38:15

"I'm so very, very sorry, Lacey, I've no excuse.

0:38:160:38:20

"Believe me, you have never left my thoughts.

0:38:200:38:23

"I think about you all the time.

0:38:230:38:26

"It sounds stupid, I know, but I am deeply sorry.

0:38:260:38:29

"In dynamic peace, Jack H Jones II."

0:38:290:38:32

And he... Mr Jones asked me to read that,

0:38:330:38:35

and I'm respecting his wishes by doing so.

0:38:350:38:38

-Mr Rosenzweig, thank you very much.

-Thank you.

0:38:380:38:40

At 27 years in that cell, he's done.

0:38:430:38:45

There's no quality of life for him left at all.

0:38:470:38:50

So, in his mind, being spared from execution Monday night...

0:38:500:38:55

..no.

0:38:570:38:58

No. He doesn't want it, he wants to die.

0:38:590:39:02

He was very relieved to hear that Ledell's was only 12 minutes.

0:39:040:39:10

I think, if anything...

0:39:130:39:15

He said he's not fearful.

0:39:170:39:18

He's at peace.

0:39:200:39:22

But I know, in the back of his mind, he's afraid..

0:39:220:39:26

..that it would be a painful death.

0:39:280:39:30

Jack Jones murdered my mom.

0:39:380:39:39

It's always in my mind,

0:39:410:39:43

it will always be in my mind, and every time I look in the mirror

0:39:430:39:46

and I see my scars on my head, it's a daily reminder.

0:39:460:39:51

This is a scar on my forehead here.

0:39:560:39:58

And then it starts right here and then goes down,

0:39:590:40:04

all the way down here.

0:40:040:40:06

It makes me angry.

0:40:090:40:11

And I think this execution will kind of help some of that.

0:40:110:40:16

It won't all be gone, but I think it will help some of the anger issues

0:40:160:40:19

that I have towards the whole situation, all around.

0:40:190:40:23

It's been an up and down yo-yo that I've had to live my whole life,

0:40:280:40:32

and call life, waiting on this to happen...

0:40:320:40:34

..and dealing with it.

0:40:360:40:38

This is the one that's Monday.

0:40:380:40:40

2007, clemency hearing that we had to attend.

0:40:400:40:45

2010, another clemency hearing that we had to attend.

0:40:450:40:49

2015, talking about another execution date that never happened.

0:40:490:40:54

Hopefully, one day I can be done with this box

0:40:540:40:57

and have the final paper in there saying he was executed.

0:40:570:41:01

It's been very trying.

0:41:040:41:06

I have to just keep my head up and think of the things

0:41:060:41:10

that make me happy, like my husband and my kids,

0:41:100:41:12

that will always be here for me.

0:41:120:41:15

I'm really hopeful. I think things are different this time.

0:41:180:41:22

We have a governor and, you know,

0:41:220:41:24

the Arkansas Attorney General's Office,

0:41:240:41:27

they're really fighting for us victims and the families.

0:41:270:41:31

So, I really feel... I really feel...

0:41:310:41:34

..like it's going to happen.

0:41:350:41:37

But you don't count your money till it's in your hands,

0:41:380:41:41

and he's not dead till he's dead.

0:41:410:41:43

It's not done till it's done, and I'm ready for it to be done.

0:41:430:41:46

Our world has gotten to be so cruel, so uncaring.

0:41:580:42:02

We have murders here like you wouldn't believe

0:42:040:42:06

in our communities around here.

0:42:060:42:10

My morals and standards and my upbringing, you know,

0:42:170:42:21

it did shape my mind that if you're guilty of something,

0:42:210:42:25

regardless of the crime, you are responsible for your actions.

0:42:250:42:29

My brother, he's in prison now for 40 years,

0:42:320:42:35

and he was not raised like that.

0:42:350:42:38

I don't think the upbringing has anything to do with it, really.

0:42:380:42:41

-It's a personal choice.

-Yeah, it is a personal choice.

0:42:410:42:44

The one thing you need to know about Marcel's case,

0:42:540:42:56

as bad as it is and whatever terrible things he may have done,

0:42:560:43:00

is that he wasn't properly represented.

0:43:000:43:03

And had he had attorneys that truly knew what they were doing

0:43:030:43:05

at the time, there might have been a completely different result.

0:43:050:43:09

We didn't really understand what the true meaning of mitigation was.

0:43:120:43:15

We thought mitigation was awards, cub scout merits, things like that.

0:43:150:43:20

We looked for things like that instead of looking

0:43:200:43:22

into the deeper meaning of Marcel's life, and what brought him

0:43:220:43:26

to the place that caused him to do the things he did.

0:43:260:43:28

Not particularly as a defence to what he did,

0:43:280:43:30

but explanations to what he did.

0:43:300:43:32

Marcel Williams had a very rough childhood and upbringing.

0:43:370:43:40

He lived in extreme poverty.

0:43:410:43:44

He would tell me about places he'd grown up and lived

0:43:440:43:46

when he was younger,

0:43:460:43:48

and one of them was a place where I used to live when I was younger.

0:43:480:43:52

It has since been torn down because the gang activity got so high

0:43:520:43:57

and the crime rate got so high.

0:43:570:43:59

You know, he told me that was one of the nicest places

0:44:010:44:03

his family had ever lived.

0:44:030:44:05

To me, this place was like a war zone.

0:44:050:44:07

He never knew his father, and even though his mother was there,

0:44:100:44:15

she wasn't there. She was out doing her own thing

0:44:150:44:17

and he was left to fend for himself.

0:44:170:44:20

Marcel also endured a lot of very harsh, physical discipline.

0:44:210:44:26

He would be made to strip and his mother would

0:44:260:44:31

beat him up and down his body until he was bleeding.

0:44:310:44:34

There was not food to eat in his house,

0:44:370:44:40

because there were often times that they just couldn't afford food.

0:44:400:44:43

So, he learned at a very young age how to steal in order to eat,

0:44:430:44:48

and obviously that just evolved into different kinds

0:44:480:44:51

of criminal activity for Marcel.

0:44:510:44:53

He went to prison, before he finished high school, for robbery.

0:44:530:44:58

So, he really is a child when he goes to prison,

0:44:580:45:01

and he gets taken advantage of.

0:45:010:45:03

He was raped by a group of men.

0:45:070:45:10

And it's not something that he really talks about a lot...

0:45:100:45:12

..but it happened to him and people should know that it happened to him,

0:45:140:45:17

and it affected who he became as an adult.

0:45:170:45:19

It's difficult for me to say that it was all Marcel's fault.

0:45:240:45:27

You know, he really didn't have a chance to be a normal adult.

0:45:280:45:32

When things start occurring in your life at such a young age,

0:45:320:45:35

you can't be held responsible for that.

0:45:350:45:38

And so, he did make his own decisions.

0:45:380:45:40

But I think if he'd had a different upbringing,

0:45:410:45:44

different influences in his life, he would have made different decisions.

0:45:440:45:48

You should only be sentenced to death

0:45:510:45:53

if you're of the very highest level of culpability.

0:45:530:45:56

And in determining that, your background comes into play,

0:45:560:46:01

and this is something that juries commonly consider.

0:46:010:46:03

And so there really was an injustice in the fact that his jury

0:46:030:46:07

heard nothing about his childhood, which was, you know, really bad.

0:46:070:46:11

His trial attorneys essentially admitted his guilt,

0:46:110:46:14

to curry favour with the jury so that they could possibly get

0:46:140:46:18

a life sentence, as opposed to a death sentence.

0:46:180:46:21

But, obviously, that's not how it played out.

0:46:210:46:23

It's not an excuse for his crime, but it's relevant to his sentence

0:46:250:46:29

because the jury was entitled to hear everything about him

0:46:290:46:33

before they decided that he should lose his life.

0:46:330:46:36

So, yes, I think that information is very important,

0:46:360:46:38

and the law says that it is, too.

0:46:380:46:40

We're here today in the matter of Marcel Wayne Williams who has been

0:47:020:47:06

sentenced to death and has applied for an executive clemency.

0:47:060:47:10

-That's correct.

-All right, and with that, sir, you may proceed.

0:47:100:47:13

Thank you, Chairman and good morning,

0:47:130:47:15

and thank you each for being here today.

0:47:150:47:18

Our goal this morning is to highlight the most glaring injustice

0:47:180:47:22

that took place in the capital case of Marcel Williams,

0:47:220:47:24

that's the fact that he was sentenced to death by a jury

0:47:240:47:27

who knew absolutely nothing about him,

0:47:270:47:30

other than the facts and circumstances of his crime.

0:47:300:47:34

It was not a strategic decision, it was, in fact, a mistake,

0:47:340:47:39

and we hope to impress upon the board this morning that the story

0:47:390:47:42

of his childhood is a story that a jury should have heard.

0:47:420:47:46

But because of the way the law played out,

0:47:460:47:48

they didn't hear it and they never will.

0:47:480:47:50

And so, I'm going to ask the Board to do what the jury could not do,

0:47:500:47:54

which is to find that while he may deserve to spend

0:47:540:47:57

the rest of his life in prison

0:47:570:47:59

- and he most certainly does, and he acknowledges that -

0:47:590:48:02

he does not deserve to die.

0:48:020:48:03

Now, I can't promise he'll ever receive it, but would you say if you

0:48:300:48:33

had a chance to talk to Marcel right now?

0:48:330:48:35

HE SOBS

0:48:430:48:46

I'm sorry.

0:48:480:48:50

Marcel, I'm sorry.

0:48:550:48:57

I'm sorry that we didn't do the things

0:49:100:49:12

that we needed to do to save you.

0:49:120:49:13

Marcel, I'm sorry that, at the time that we represented you,

0:49:170:49:21

that I represented you, I didn't understand...

0:49:210:49:23

..what needed to be done.

0:49:260:49:29

Not only were you short-changed in your life,

0:49:290:49:31

you were short-changed in your defence...

0:49:310:49:34

and I'd give anything if I had another chance to protect you.

0:49:340:49:40

I mean, you did what you did,

0:49:420:49:43

but you deserved to be defended better,

0:49:430:49:45

and I'm sorry that I wasn't able to help you with that.

0:49:450:49:48

In November of 1994, Marcel abducted,

0:50:000:50:04

raped a young lady named Dena Cronin, a young law student...

0:50:040:50:09

..and took her to an abandoned house.

0:50:110:50:13

He tied her up, put her in a closet and left her there.

0:50:130:50:17

He planned to come back,

0:50:180:50:19

and we don't know what he planned to do, because she escaped.

0:50:190:50:22

22 years later, this is Dena Windall and she's here today,

0:50:240:50:29

and she's going to address the board.

0:50:290:50:31

Dena.

0:50:310:50:32

Good morning.

0:50:380:50:39

My time to speak about the injustices that were done to me...

0:50:450:50:49

..came and went. It was 23 years ago.

0:50:510:50:53

Although it brings back a lot of memories for me...

0:50:550:50:59

I've moved on.

0:50:590:51:01

Mr Williams has moved on.

0:51:030:51:04

It makes no sense to me to kill another human being wilfully.

0:51:080:51:12

I mean, if we all have not sinned in our lives...

0:51:140:51:16

..then you must be God.

0:51:240:51:27

-I forgive you, Mr Williams.

-MARCEL:

-Thank you.

0:51:340:51:37

That's all I have to say.

0:51:400:51:42

Thank you very much, Dena, for being here.

0:51:430:51:45

Excuse me.

0:51:580:52:00

Being in this situation has forced me to look at me.

0:52:080:52:11

And sometimes you don't like the person that

0:52:160:52:18

you see looking back at you.

0:52:180:52:19

So, what do you do? You can't change that.

0:52:210:52:23

And I've tried, I don't know what next to do.

0:52:260:52:28

So, I'm going to end with an apology...

0:52:350:52:37

..to you.

0:52:390:52:40

REPORTER: 6:46 is your time. The big story of the morning -

0:53:090:53:12

tonight, two men are set to be put to death.

0:53:120:53:14

Currently, no legal blocks that would stop Jack Jones'

0:53:140:53:17

or Marcel Williams' execution,

0:53:170:53:18

and if things go according to the state's plan, it will be

0:53:180:53:21

Arkansas' first double execution since

0:53:210:53:23

resuming its lethal injection programme.

0:53:230:53:26

Good morning, guys. So both Jack Jones and Marcel Williams

0:53:260:53:28

have already been transferred here to the Cummins Unit

0:53:280:53:31

ahead of tonight,

0:53:310:53:32

and at this point in time, no court orders have been issued that would

0:53:320:53:35

force the state to call off these executions.

0:53:350:53:37

But there are still a number of pending legal challenges

0:53:370:53:40

that can develop throughout the day.

0:53:400:53:43

Today is my birthday.

0:53:430:53:44

I didn't believe it when I first saw it cos I just thought,

0:53:460:53:49

"How odd is that, that it would be the same day as my birthday?"

0:53:490:53:53

I almost feel like...

0:53:580:54:00

..maybe she has a part in this.

0:54:010:54:04

She knows how much I've struggled with it, you know.

0:54:060:54:09

She's got to, I know she does.

0:54:090:54:11

So, it's almost like a present, if you will.

0:54:130:54:17

As things stand right now, Jack Jones is scheduled to die

0:54:200:54:22

at seven o'clock tonight, Marcel Williams at 8:15,

0:54:220:54:25

depending on how some of these legal battles play out in the courts.

0:54:250:54:29

Hopefully, Marcel Williams is put to death.

0:54:320:54:35

I mean, I'm sure he is scared,

0:54:370:54:39

scared that the drugs might not work on him, but, you know, like...

0:54:390:54:43

..I honestly don't care.

0:54:440:54:46

Everything is not exhausted.

0:54:560:54:57

We still have cases that are lodged in various courts

0:54:570:55:00

and we're pursuing those until the final hour.

0:55:000:55:03

So, we're still holding out hope that Marcel will be alive

0:55:040:55:07

come Tuesday morning.

0:55:070:55:08

I'm getting nervous.

0:55:240:55:25

It'll be all right.

0:55:270:55:28

I hope so.

0:55:320:55:33

We're live at the Cummins Unit near Grady, Arkansas,

0:55:370:55:39

where the death chamber is located.

0:55:390:55:42

And tonight, after spending more than 20 years on death row,

0:55:420:55:46

two men are set to be executed, and attorneys for both men

0:55:460:55:49

have filed numerous legal challenges to try and stop

0:55:490:55:53

the executions, claiming that because of their

0:55:530:55:55

medical conditions, that the lethal injection will not work properly.

0:55:550:56:00

But right now, prison officials are preparing to execute both men,

0:56:000:56:05

starting at seven o'clock.

0:56:050:56:06

Everyone's travelling the same stretch of highway right now

0:56:090:56:13

for all different reasons.

0:56:130:56:14

I'm going to be present...

0:56:160:56:20

..when the State murders my brother.

0:56:220:56:25

Lacey is travelling this same road to find closure...

0:56:250:56:29

..for losing her mother.

0:56:310:56:32

There's no bringing her mom back.

0:56:340:56:36

It's just sad, it's just really sad.

0:56:400:56:42

Right, get it done.

0:56:550:56:56

I am here today to be as close to my brother as possible.

0:57:100:57:14

This is as close to the Cummins Unit as I can get.

0:57:140:57:18

So, I promised my brother yesterday, when I walked out,

0:57:180:57:21

that I wanted him to know that I would be as close as I could,

0:57:210:57:26

and if this is as close as I can get, then he knows I'm here.

0:57:260:57:29

Good evening, everyone.

0:57:320:57:33

Last meals, beginning with Jack Jones.

0:57:330:57:38

Three pieces of fried chicken...

0:57:380:57:40

..potato logs with tartare sauce, beef jerky bites...

0:57:420:57:46

..three Butterfinger candy bars...

0:57:480:57:50

..one chocolate milkshake with Butterfinger pieces,

0:57:520:57:55

and fruit punch.

0:57:550:57:57

The last meal of Marcel Williams consisted of the following.

0:57:580:58:01

Three pieces of fried chicken, banana pudding...

0:58:020:58:06

..nachos topped with chilli cheese and jalapeno peppers...

0:58:070:58:12

..two Mountain Dews, and potato logs with ketchup.

0:58:130:58:18

The media witnesses, once again, if there is no consensus,

0:58:190:58:22

then I will select via a random draw.

0:58:220:58:25

All right, the print witness will be Jacob Rosenberg,

0:58:270:58:31

representing Arkansas Times.

0:58:310:58:33

Different things happen to different people when these drugs

0:58:380:58:41

go through them. OK, these guys are both diabetic,

0:58:410:58:43

they're both overweight, and that's just been a big concern.

0:58:430:58:47

I mean, if the Midazolam works like it's supposed to,

0:58:470:58:49

then, you know, it's just a guy falling asleep.

0:58:490:58:52

Tracey, David, Andrew.

0:58:540:58:57

-I wish you guys well.

-OK.

0:58:570:58:58

The last photo was yesterday, just saying goodbye.

0:59:050:59:08

He looks good. I love his hair like that.

0:59:120:59:14

Damn.

0:59:160:59:17

"Love, what I wouldn't give if once again I had the chance to be

0:59:210:59:25

"your brother, in another time and kinder place,

0:59:250:59:28

"in another life where I knew much sooner how truly wonderful you are,

0:59:280:59:32

"and how much I'd come to love you.

0:59:320:59:34

"Love, Bro," and he kissed it.

0:59:350:59:38

Every letter I wrote him was always, "Love, Sis,"...

0:59:400:59:42

..and his is "Love, Bro."

0:59:440:59:45

And so...

0:59:450:59:47

we agreed to have tattoos to remind each other every day...

0:59:470:59:51

..how much we meant to each other.

0:59:520:59:54

We'll always have something...

0:59:550:59:58

together, side by side.

0:59:580:59:59

"Love, Bro."

1:00:041:00:06

BELL TOLLS

1:00:481:00:50

For whom the bell tolls...

1:00:501:00:52

..it tolls for thee.

1:00:531:00:54

I can't sit there and say, "I wish a person was dead,"

1:01:171:01:20

so I don't say that.

1:01:201:01:22

I say, "I wish that justice would be served

1:01:221:01:25

"and he would pay for his crime," because it is...

1:01:251:01:30

It makes me feel like a bad person to sit there

1:01:301:01:32

and say that I want someone to be dead.

1:01:321:01:34

I get upset sometimes and think, "Oh, I shouldn't think that,

1:01:421:01:45

"I shouldn't want this." You know, but I do, so...

1:01:451:01:49

You know, I don't hurt people and I don't want to hurt people...

1:01:551:01:58

..and I sure don't want to...

1:02:001:02:03

..encourage someone dying, or sit there and say,

1:02:041:02:07

"I want someone dead."

1:02:071:02:08

You know?

1:02:101:02:12

But I want justice to be served, and it has to be.

1:02:121:02:15

PHONE RINGS

1:03:051:03:07

This is Solomon.

1:03:141:03:15

Just a few moments ago, Wendy Kelley,

1:03:301:03:32

Director of the Arkansas Department of Correction, read the

1:03:321:03:35

following statement in the Execution Chamber -

1:03:351:03:38

"A lethal injection was administered at 7:06pm, and the Coroner has

1:03:381:03:42

"pronounced Jack Harold Jones dead at 7:20pm,

1:03:421:03:46

"carrying out the sentence of

1:03:461:03:48

"the Circuit Court of White County, Arkansas."

1:03:481:03:51

In addition, I want to read to you the last words of Jack Jones.

1:03:511:03:56

"I just want to let Lacey know how sorry I am.

1:03:571:04:01

"I can't believe I did something to her.

1:04:011:04:05

"I hope over time you could learn who I really am,

1:04:051:04:09

"and I am not a monster.

1:04:091:04:12

"I'm so sorry, Lacey, try to understand.

1:04:121:04:16

"I love you like my child."

1:04:161:04:18

He had a bond with her, in his mind, that...

1:04:271:04:30

..she was like his and...

1:04:321:04:34

Yeah. So, I just pray tonight that...

1:04:361:04:38

..wherever she's at now and whatever she...

1:04:401:04:42

..you know, experienced up there tonight,

1:04:441:04:46

that she walked away with whatever it is that she needed.

1:04:461:04:48

Just a minute.

1:05:161:05:18

There's definitely a different mood in the air right now,

1:05:181:05:22

a little more tension and a little less tension in different ways.

1:05:221:05:26

I would like to thank the Governor and his office and everyone that

1:05:261:05:30

works with him and for him, that gave our family some justice.

1:05:301:05:34

So, I'm glad that that part of my life is...

1:05:341:05:38

..that chapter is closed.

1:05:401:05:42

Mr Jones said right before he died

1:05:421:05:44

that he thought of you as like a child to him now...

1:05:441:05:47

I don't want to talk about that.

1:05:471:05:49

And I really don't have anything else I want to say right now,

1:05:491:05:52

thank you.

1:05:521:05:53

SHE SOBS: No!

1:06:091:06:11

No!

1:06:121:06:14

Tell me it's not so!

1:06:141:06:16

Tell me it's not so!

1:06:161:06:18

Somebody's calling her and telling her that Jack's was botched.

1:06:271:06:29

-Oh, my God.

-Tell me it's not so!

1:06:291:06:31

Well, Marcel Williams is scheduled to follow,

1:06:341:06:38

and his lawyers filed an emergency appeal to try to block

1:06:381:06:41

the second execution.

1:06:411:06:43

It's hard to tell,

1:06:431:06:44

it's hard to keep up with all the different legal manoeuvring.

1:06:441:06:47

What I'm reading right now is that the Governor of Arkansas spokesman

1:06:471:06:50

says that the execution went "flawlessly."

1:06:501:06:53

But witnesses say that his mouth was moving,

1:06:531:06:55

that he was gulping for air.

1:06:551:06:57

And so that raises very real possibility that this was

1:06:591:07:03

an excruciatingly painful death for him.

1:07:031:07:05

That information came from Marcel Williams' lawyers,

1:07:221:07:25

so I don't know if the Governor's spokesperson was a witness or not.

1:07:251:07:29

But I would take the word of somebody who watched it happen,

1:07:301:07:33

rather than a politician's spokesperson.

1:07:331:07:35

The procedure began at 7:06pm.

1:07:371:07:39

I tried to mark down what I saw.

1:07:401:07:44

There were no signs to me that he was struggling.

1:07:441:07:47

His lips were still moving.

1:07:481:07:51

The microphone was off,

1:07:511:07:52

so I'm not sure if he was actually saying something

1:07:521:07:54

or if it was just him moving his mouth.

1:07:541:07:57

I heard some of the legal filings say that he might have

1:07:571:07:59

been gasping for air. That wasn't what I saw.

1:07:591:08:02

I'm not a doctor, but...

1:08:021:08:04

..I don't believe those claims are accurate.

1:08:051:08:08

Tonight, Jack Jones' execution was the reason

1:08:081:08:12

that Marcel Williams appealed to a judge.

1:08:121:08:14

They wanted to temporarily halt the executions, which she

1:08:141:08:17

ultimately did, but then lifted that stay.

1:08:171:08:20

You didn't see anything to alarm you or any of the other witnesses

1:08:201:08:24

-in the room?

-No, I don't think any of us were alarmed.

1:08:241:08:27

Gosh, thank you.

1:08:271:08:29

It appeared to happen fairly smoothly.

1:08:291:08:31

You know something, he saw it and I'll take that, you know.

1:08:311:08:35

I'll take it, I'll take it.

1:08:351:08:37

I'll take it.

1:08:371:08:38

The State successfully carried out the execution of Jack Jones.

1:08:481:08:52

So, at this point, the State is starting to move forward

1:08:521:08:56

with what will be the first double execution that we have seen

1:08:561:08:59

in the State since 1999.

1:08:591:09:02

It's not that I want him to suffer...

1:09:061:09:08

..or it not to work right or something.

1:09:101:09:12

That is not what I want.

1:09:141:09:16

I want him to be passed on and not be here to hurt nobody else.

1:09:171:09:21

And if he ever got out, he would.

1:09:231:09:24

I hope that the State of Arkansas

1:09:341:09:36

is embarrassed that this is going forward.

1:09:361:09:38

Because we're on this schedule, everything's rushed,

1:09:381:09:41

simply for the State's convenience.

1:09:411:09:43

You know, they threw justice out of the window,

1:09:431:09:45

because there's no way that all of the claims that these prisoners have

1:09:451:09:49

can be reasonably considered in this time frame.

1:09:491:09:52

And when you consider the fact that, you know,

1:09:531:09:57

the stake is life or death, that makes it all the more unjust.

1:09:571:10:02

A spokesman says the execution is happening right now, so...

1:10:121:10:15

What?

1:10:161:10:18

They went ahead with it, it's going on right now.

1:10:181:10:20

BELL TOLLS

1:10:241:10:27

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open,

1:10:301:10:34

all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid.

1:10:341:10:38

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts,

1:10:411:10:44

by the inspiration of your holy spirit...

1:10:441:10:46

..that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name.

1:10:481:10:54

Through Christ, our Lord, amen.

1:10:541:10:57

PHONE RINGS

1:11:501:11:53

It's Solomon.

1:12:011:12:02

A lethal injection was administered at 10:16pm, and the Coroner has

1:12:091:12:13

pronounced Marcel Wayne Williams dead at 10:33pm,

1:12:131:12:18

carrying out the sentence of the Circuit Court of Pulaski County.

1:12:181:12:22

I did not see anything that was distress that I would

1:12:251:12:28

attribute to the Midazolam, based on what I've read about Midazolam.

1:12:281:12:32

A true injustice occurred that a man has died with an unjust sentence,

1:12:341:12:40

that I and the attorneys I work with have tried everything

1:12:401:12:44

to correct.

1:12:441:12:46

We put all of the appropriate information in front of the court

1:12:461:12:48

so that they could correct it, and it still went uncorrected.

1:12:481:12:52

You know, for someone who went to law school and who, as an attorney,

1:12:521:12:55

I've built my life on the justice system, it's really...

1:12:551:12:58

It's made me lose confidence in how everything works,

1:12:591:13:02

and it makes you re-evaluate everything about the law.

1:13:021:13:05

He's not getting a funeral, there's nobody here to say goodbye.

1:13:291:13:33

But I couldn't bear the thought of him being cremated tomorrow

1:13:341:13:37

in his prison whites. So, I went into Walmart last night,

1:13:371:13:40

kind of in a stupor, thinking,

1:13:401:13:42

"What the heck do I buy my brother to be cremated in?"

1:13:421:13:45

Nothing made sense, and lo and behold, you look up and...

1:13:451:13:49

I found this Dr Pepper T-shirt.

1:13:491:13:50

You know? SHE LAUGHS

1:13:521:13:54

"Good for life."

1:13:541:13:56

"Good for life."

1:13:581:13:59

I see Jason McGehee as a monster.

1:14:131:14:17

I feel sorry for John's family, but this is my boy,

1:14:191:14:23

and I don't want him to die.

1:14:231:14:26

This is a bullet wound.

1:14:271:14:28

I, Kenneth Williams, am responsible for this.

1:14:291:14:33

Kenneth Williams killed my father.

1:14:351:14:37

His last wishes were to see his daughter for one last time.

1:14:381:14:41

A documentary series about the unprecedented number of executions scheduled in Arkansas, USA, of eight men in ten days. The Governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson has scheduled eight men to be put to death within ten days of each other. The reason for the unprecedented timetable is to use up the state's supply of a lethal injection drug called midazolam before it expires. With access to the families of victims, and of those on death row, this series follows the eight cases from both sides, in the weeks, days, hours and minutes leading up to each scheduled execution. From inside the prison walls, we also hear from the inmates themselves as they reflect on their crimes, plead for their lives and get ready to be part of the most condensed spate of death sentences in recent American history.

In this episode we meet Lynn Scott, the sister of death row inmate Jack Jones - the next prisoner in line to die. Jones has severe medical problems including diabetes, which led to him having a leg amputated in prison. Jones and his sister are worried that the number of medications he is on could mean the lethal injection drugs don't work properly, resulting in an agonising death. However, the family of Jones's victim Mary Phillips say they have waited more than 20 years for the execution, and they are desperate for justice to be done.

We also meet inmate Marcel Williams who is on death row for the rape and murder of 22-year-old Stacy Rae Errickson. With only weeks to go before Williams's execution, his attorney Jason Kearney is fighting to save his client's life, arguing that Williams's original lawyers made serious mistakes during his trial. Kearney says these mistakes meant the jury didn't hear vital evidence that could still save him from execution.