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  • FILE - In this Tuesday, April 18, 2017 file photo, Ledell Lee appears in Pulaski County Circuit Court for a hearing in which lawyers argued to stop his execution which is scheduled for Thursday. Unless a court steps in, Lee and Stacey Johnson are set for execution Thursday night. Lee was sentenced to death after being convicted of killing Debra Reese with a tire iron in February 1993 in Jacksonville. (Benjamin Krain/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP, File)

  • 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)

  • 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)

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

  • Scott Langley of Ghent, New York, holds a sign near the Cummins Unit prison near Varner, Arkansas, to protest executions set for Thursday, April 20, 2017. Arkansas adopted an aggressive schedule of eight executions in an 11-day period, but stays have been issued for four of the men initially set to die. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)

  • A recruiting sign for the Arkansas Department of Correction greets visitors to the Cummins Unit prison near Varner, Arkansas, which was scheduled to hold executions Thursday, April 20, 2017. If any inmate dies by lethal injection, it would be the state's first execution since 2005. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)

Friday, April 21, 2017 6:41 pm

The Latest: Judge won't block Arkansas executions

The Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Latest on Arkansas' plan to execute several inmates before the end of April (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

A federal judge says she won't block two inmates from being executed next week in Arkansas, rejecting the men's claims that their poor health could make the lethal injections especially painful.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker denied requests to stop the executions for Jack Jones and Marcel Williams, both of which are scheduled for Monday night.

Williams argues that his obesity and diabetes could make the lethal injections too painful. Jones argues that his diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions could cause him to suffer an "extended and painful death."

Ledell Lee was executed Thursday in Arkansas' first execution since 2005.

Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before the end of April, when its supply of one lethal injection drug expires. The first three executions were canceled because of court decisions. Legal rulings have put at least one other in doubt.

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11:25 a.m.

Two Arkansas death row inmates are asking a judge to halt their executions, saying their poor health could make the lethal injections especially painful.

Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are set to be executed Monday night.

Jones and Williams want a federal judge to find the state's lethal injection protocol unconstitutional. Williams argues that his obesity and diabetes could make the lethal injections too painful. Jones argues that his diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions could cause him to suffer an "extended and painful death."

Ledell Lee was executed Thursday in Arkansas' first execution since 2005.

Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before the end of April, when its supply of one lethal injection drug expires. The first three executions were canceled because of court decisions. Legal rulings have put at least one other in doubt.

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2:45 a.m.

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.