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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Latest on Arkansas' effort to execute a fourth inmate before its supply of a lethal injection drug expires on Sunday (all times local):
Few options remain for an Arkansas death row inmate scheduled for a lethal injection Thursday night.
Kenneth Williams would be the fourth man executed in Arkansas in eight days. The state initially wanted to put eight men to death in an 11-day period before one of its execution drugs expires at midnight Sunday, but four inmates won stays.
The Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected Williams' claim his jurors didn't consider mitigating factors. In the county where Williams was convicted, a judge refused to hear claims Williams was intellectually disabled. The Lincoln County Circuit Court said jurors considered that during Williams' sentencing phase.
Separately, a Little Rock federal judge refused to reopen a 2007 case in which she rejected Williams' effort to have his conviction and death sentence tossed out. Williams' lawyers have asked a St. Louis-based appeals court to review that Thursday.
Arkansas is reaching the end of its aggressive execution schedule.
Kenneth Williams is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday for the death of a former deputy warden killed after Williams escaped from prison in 1999. Williams was being held for the death of a college cheerleader when he escaped in a 500-gallon barrel of hog slop.
Williams would be the fourth inmate to die in Arkansas' execution chamber in a week. Initially, Arkansas wanted eight men executed before one of its execution drugs expires Sunday. Courts issued stays for four of the inmates.
State officials declared the previous three executions a success. The inmates' lawyers say there are still flaws in the system and that it's difficult to tell whether the inmates are suffering cruel punishment as they die.