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After temporary halt, second Arkansas execution will go ahead: reports

After temporary halt, second Arkansas execution will go ahead: reports
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A federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., temporarily halted the execution of an inmate scheduled to die Monday night before lifting the temporary stay. 

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker paused Marcel Williams’s execution shortly before 8:15 p.m. local time, when it was supposed to take place, The Associated Press said.

The AP said Baker delayed Williams’s execution until 8:30 p.m. Monday or until she issued another order, whichever is later, as Williams’s attorneys questioned whether an execution scheduled right before his went properly.

In a subsequent tweet, the AP said the judge had lifted the temporary stay. 

Williams is now expected to be executed Monday night, as originally planned. 

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The lawyers said in a last-minute filing that inmate Jack Jones showed “continued consciousness” after the drug midazolam was administered earlier Monday evening. 

Jones was reportedly pronounced dead at Arkansas’s Cummins Unit in the southeastern part of the state. 

The Supreme Court refused to block Jones’s execution earlier Monday, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor reportedly dissenting from the majority.

Jones previously argued that his poor health could lead to excessive pain during a lethal injection.

Williams’s attorneys made a similar charge in Monday’s filing, arguing their client could face “a torturous death” via lethal injection.

The AP said Jones was sentenced to death for the rape and killing of a woman in northern Arkansas.

Williams was sent to death row in 1994 for the rape and killing of a 22-year-old in central Arkansas.

The inmate also admitted responsibility for two other rapes to the state parole board last month.

If Williams is executed Monday night, Arkansas will have performed the first double execution in the U.S. since 2000.

The state had eight executions scheduled for an 11-day period before the end of the month, when its supply of a lethal injection drug expires.

— Updated 10:47 p.m.