Arkansas inmate receives communion for last meal

VARNER, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on Arkansas’ effort to execute a fourth inmate before its supply of a lethal injection drug expires on Sunday (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

A prison spokesman says an Arkansas inmate scheduled to be the fourth executed in a week opted to receive communion instead of a traditional last meal.

Kenneth Williams is scheduled for execution at 7 p.m. Thursday unless a court steps in.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves says that Williams received communion from his spiritual adviser. Williams was also served a regular prison meal that included fried chicken, beans, rice, corn, tomatoes, cinnamon rolls, two cookies, four slices of bread and punch.

Last week, condemned inmate Ledell Lee also chose to receive communion instead of a last meal.

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5:15 p.m.

A federal appeals panel says it won’t stop Thursday night’s execution of Arkansas inmate Kenneth Williams.

The three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected several requests from Williams, who is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. Thursday. Williams’ attorneys had argued that Williams is intellectually disabled and ineligible for execution, and that there was misconduct and bias among the jury in his trial.

The panel rejected those claims and denied Williams’ request for an execution stay.

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3:20 p.m.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected two requests to stop the scheduled execution of Kenneth Williams.

The court denied requests for execution stays for Williams, who is set to be put to death at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Williams still has several other legal challenges pending in multiple courts. His attorneys have said he’s intellectually disabled and that he has medical conditions that could make his execution painful.

Williams’ attorneys are also questioning whether two inmates put to death earlier this week suffered during their executions.

If executed, Williams would be the fourth inmate put to death in Arkansas over the past eight days.

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1:35 p.m.

An Arkansas…

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