US

Arkansas conducts first execution since 2005, plans 3 more

  • Media witnesses speak about the late Thursday night execution of Ledell Lee in Varner, Ark., early Friday, April 21, 2017. Lee was the first inmate put to death in the state since 2005. John Moritz of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, from left, Sean Murphy of The Associated Press and Marine Glisovic witnessed Lee's death. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)

    Media witnesses speak about the late Thursday night execution of Ledell Lee in Varner, Ark., early Friday, April 21, 2017. Lee was the first inmate put to death in the state since 2005. John Moritz of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, from left, Sean Murphy of The Associated Press and Marine Glisovic witnessed Lee's death. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)  (The Associated Press)

  • J.R. Davis, a spokesman for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, speaks with reporters early Friday, April 21, 2017, following the execution of death row inmate Ledell Lee. Lee's death late Thursday night was Arkansas' first execution since 2005. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)

    J.R. Davis, a spokesman for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, speaks with reporters early Friday, April 21, 2017, following the execution of death row inmate Ledell Lee. Lee's death late Thursday night was Arkansas' first execution since 2005. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)  (The Associated Press)

  • Solomon Graves, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction, waits at a desk for a telephone call with news from the death chamber at the Cummins Unit prison near Varner, Ark., on Thursday, April 20, 2017. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected stay requests from Ledell Lee, allowing his execution to proceed at the prison. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)

    Solomon Graves, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction, waits at a desk for a telephone call with news from the death chamber at the Cummins Unit prison near Varner, Ark., on Thursday, April 20, 2017. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected stay requests from Ledell Lee, allowing his execution to proceed at the prison. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)  (The Associated Press)

Arkansas has carried out its first execution in nearly a dozen years despite a flurry of legal challenges that had spared three other convicted killers.

Ledell Lee was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. Thursday, four minutes before his death warrant was due to expire at midnight, capping a chaotic week of legal wrangling. Arkansas originally wanted to put eight inmates to death before the state's supply of midazolam, one of three drugs used in its lethal injection process, expires at the end of April.

Three of those executions were canceled this week because of court decisions. Another inmate scheduled for execution next week has received a stay.

The state still hopes to put to death two more inmates Monday, and one next Thursday.