It's the central question of the current USA death penalty debate, highlighted by the latest execution involving a disputed sedative that appeared to involve discomfort to the inmate.
Arkansas' race to kill eight death-row inmates in 11 days has concluded, with four out of the eight dead. It's not clear how many doses of the other two drugs Arkansas uses to execute prisoners remain in the state's stash.
Under Hutchinson's initial plan, Arkansas would have put eight men to death in an 11-day period - the nation's fastest pace since the U.S. Supreme Court reauthorized the death penalty in 1976.
After the jerking, Williams breathed through his mouth and moaned or groaned once - during a consciousness check - until falling still seven minutes into the lethal injection.
An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the execution said Williams lurched and convulsed 20 times during the lethal injection.
A spokesman for the governor said the shaking is a "known involuntary muscular reaction" to midazolam, the controversial sedative given as the first drug in the lethal injection process.
Seeing this, lawyers for other inmates raised objections - that midazolam could not reliably render someone unconscious like a barbiturate like pentobarbital.
The "same dark place" included very bad learning disabilities and neuropsychological problems, possible brain damage, a childhood of extreme poverty with drug-abusing parents, severe physical abuse from his father and having to see his father beat his mother, being placed at just 6 years old in the juvenile correction system, and being shuffled between six foster homes and sometimes suffering sexual abuse.
The Arkansas Department of Correction executed four people over eight days because the state's supply of midazolam was about to expire. "Our prayers are with all the victims' families and all those involved in carrying out these four executions". "The crime I perpetrated against you all was senseless". He left the prison - where the execution chamber is located in another part of the facility - less than three weeks into a life prison term for killing University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff cheerleader Dominique Hurd in 1998. A motorist passes by the entrance to the Cummins Unit prison near Varner, Ark., on Thursday, April 27, 2017. He was later convicted of capital murder after he escaped from prison in 1999 and killed Cecil Boren.
Hutchinson has not yet directed the ADC to start looking for more.
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"We feel justice has been served", Holly King, Boren's daughter, told the press.
"When he found out that we are bringing his daughter and granddaughter to see him, and that my mom and dad bought the tickets, he was crying to the attorney", Greenwood said. He stole Boren's vehicle and drove to Missouri, where he was captured after causing a traffic accident that killed a driver, Michael Greenwood.
Williams was sentenced to death in 2000.
The executions were put on hold following multiple court rulings-one raising an issue over the usage of a drug while the other supporting the claim of a drug manufacturing company that alleged the State had not been honest about the reasons for obtaining the drug vecuronium bromide which is a muscle relaxant.
"I've been a lawyer a long time and if you have five witnesses, you're going to have five different descriptions", Hutchinson said. She said there was no expression on Williams' face, and it did not appear as if he was in pain.
"I humbly extend my sincerest of apologies to the families I senselessly wronged and deprived of their loved ones".
I humbly beg you your forgiveness, and pray you find the peace, healing, and closure, you all deserve.
"Rushing executions" can deny prisoners the chance to fully exercise their rights to appeal and can also lead to states shortening their clemency processes, thus affecting prisoners' rights, she said. "No rapist, murderer, terrorist, butcher, barbarian; no even old Beelzebub himself; could withstand such a blast of glorious Light and continue too walk in darkness".
I've written our four children that if, heaven forfend, someone murdered their mother or me, that I expect them to do the same thing as Kayla Greenwood.
For his final words, Williams appeared remorseful.