Despite appeals that have gone as far as the US Supreme Court, Arkansas has now executed its second and third inmate. The series of capital punishments were conducted on the same day, which is part of a move by the state to consume its stocks of Lethal Injection drugs before it expires at the end of the month.

Three out of eight

The State Of Arkansas is planning to execute a total of eight inmates before the month ends. The eight executions will be the most number of prisoners executed in such as the short period in over 40 years. The executions will also be Arkansas' first executions since 2005.

First executions in over a decade

The first inmate to be put under the lethal injection was 51-year old Ledell Lee. Lee was convicted of murder back in 1995 after the body of 26-year old Debra Reese was found strangled and beaten to death with a wooden bat in her home. Lee was officially pronounced dead at 12:44 a.m. ET, Thursday, last week.

The second and third inmates to have died under lethal injection are Jack H. Jones and Marcel William, both convicted of murder. Jones was declared dead at 7:20 p.m. CST, while Williams died at 10:33 p.m. CST. The second execution was conducted inside the death chamber at the Cummings Unit state prison southwest of Pine Bluff. The next inmate to undergo the lethal injection is Kenneth Williams, who is already scheduled to be executed on Thursday, April 27.

Court rejected appeals

Before the second execution, Lawyers of both parties sent out a series of requests to stay the executions based on claims that the procedure would be "unconstitutionally cruel." The lawyers pointed out that infirmary workers even had a hard time inserting a central line into Mr. Jones just minutes before the execution.

Despite the last minute efforts, the courts rejected all appeals and allowed the executions to be conducted.

Controversial lethal injection drugs

Arkansas' announcement that it would conduct the executions because one of the drugs they use in the three-drug procedure was about to expire instantly prompted a number of legal challenges.

The drug in question is the sedative Midazolam, which was actually designed for medical use. A number of drug manufacturers have been opposed to correctional facilities using these drugs for lethal injection purposes.This is the very reason why Arkansas is racing to use its remaining supply before it expires and it can't purchase them anymore.

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