US

Executing multiple inmates the same day was common, now rare

  • In this April 5, 2017 photo, an exhibit at the Texas Prison Museum shows the three-chemical mixture used by Texas prison officials for lethal injections in the state from 1982 until 2012, when it was replaced by a single drug. Not even Texas, the nation's most active death penalty state, has scheduled multiple executions in a single day in recent years.  Arkansas is planning a double execution Monday, April 17 the first since one in Texas in 2000. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)

    In this April 5, 2017 photo, an exhibit at the Texas Prison Museum shows the three-chemical mixture used by Texas prison officials for lethal injections in the state from 1982 until 2012, when it was replaced by a single drug. Not even Texas, the nation's most active death penalty state, has scheduled multiple executions in a single day in recent years. Arkansas is planning a double execution Monday, April 17 the first since one in Texas in 2000. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this April 5, 2017 photo, retired Texas prison warden Jim Willett poses for a photo at the Texas Prison Museum, where he is director. The museum in Huntsville, Texas, includes an exhibit of the electric chair used to executed 361 Texas inmates between 1924 and 1964, including five on the first day it was used, Feb. 4, 1924. Willett was warden at the Huntsville Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on Aug. 9, 2000, when Texas used lethal injection to execute two convicted killers. It was the last time Texas carried out two executions in a single day. Arkansas is set to execute eight inmates, two each on four days, starting Monday. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)

    In this April 5, 2017 photo, retired Texas prison warden Jim Willett poses for a photo at the Texas Prison Museum, where he is director. The museum in Huntsville, Texas, includes an exhibit of the electric chair used to executed 361 Texas inmates between 1924 and 1964, including five on the first day it was used, Feb. 4, 1924. Willett was warden at the Huntsville Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on Aug. 9, 2000, when Texas used lethal injection to execute two convicted killers. It was the last time Texas carried out two executions in a single day. Arkansas is set to execute eight inmates, two each on four days, starting Monday. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this April 5, 2017 photo, an exhibit at the Texas Prison Museum shows the old Texas electric chair used to execute hundred of Texas inmates in Huntsville, Texas, from 1924 through 1964. In Texas, records show multiple executions 28 times starting in 1924 when the state took over execution duties from counties and electrocution became the capital punishment method. For its inauguration on Feb. 8, 1924, the new electric chair was used five times. Arkansas is set to use lethal injection for a scheduled seven executions, two of which are planned for Monday, April 17. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)

    In this April 5, 2017 photo, an exhibit at the Texas Prison Museum shows the old Texas electric chair used to execute hundred of Texas inmates in Huntsville, Texas, from 1924 through 1964. In Texas, records show multiple executions 28 times starting in 1924 when the state took over execution duties from counties and electrocution became the capital punishment method. For its inauguration on Feb. 8, 1924, the new electric chair was used five times. Arkansas is set to use lethal injection for a scheduled seven executions, two of which are planned for Monday, April 17. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)  (The Associated Press)

The last time a state put more than one inmate to death on the same day was more than 16 years ago when Texas executed two condemned killers in back-to-back lethal injections.

They were declared dead 33 minutes apart. And other than the moment when one of the men lashed out at family members and police officers, the executions went quietly and without difficulties.

Not even Texas, the nation's busiest death penalty state, has scheduled multiple executions in a single day in recent years. In today's capital punishment landscape, death penalty opponents are as vocal as ever and some states have struggled with drug shortages, legal challenges and flawed executions.

Arkansas is planning a double execution Monday, the first since the one in Texas in 2000. It has drawn criticism.