"Arkansas" ordered the lethal injections, which were then approved by the "courts," whose orders were finally obeyed by "Arkansas" in an utterly passive manner. No human beings, either as individuals or as groups, are made to bear any moral responsibility for the taking of two lives.
The headlines seemingly come from the same corporate media echo chamber:
Arkansas Executes 2 Men In One Night -- CNN.
Arkansas Executed Two Men on the Same Gurney -- ThinkProgress.
Arkansas Carries Out First Double Execution Since 2000 -- Reuters.
Arkansas Executions: Why It's Executing 11 People in 7 Days -- Time.
Here's how the New York Times led its own account, which was squeamishly and tastefully buried below several articles on Trump's first hundred days:
Arkansas executed two convicted murderers on Monday night, the first time in almost 17 years that any state has executed two inmates on the same day, as the state carries out a series of capital punishments before one of its lethal injection drugs expires.If you are envisioning a giant map of the state of Arkansas magically coming to life and killing people, then that is just what the unaccountable killers want you to envision. Who held the needle, Fayetteville or Hot Springs? We don't know. All we know is that the men died from some anonymous, passively administered injections.
Jack H. Jones Jr. died at 7:20 p.m. local time, and Marcel Williams at 10:33 p.m., both from the injection of a three-drug combination, after a flurry of failed, last-ditch appeals. The executions in the death chamber at the Cummings Unit, a state prison southwest of Pine Bluff, came four days after the state put to death another killer, Ledell Lee. A fourth condemned man, Kenneth Williams, is scheduled to be executed on Thursday.
Further down in the article, however, we learn that "infirmary workers" rather than the legendary hooded executioners were the administrators of the death-dealing drugs. Capital punishment is thus downgraded to a medical procedure carried out by health care personnel.
Since it is impossible to totally avoid naming any names, the Times does finally inform us that one Judge Kristine Baker of the US District Court issued a brief stay of execution for the second inmate, given that the first inmate reportedly "gulped for air" prior to his passive demise. But apparently satisfied that the gulping fell within normal pathological parameters, the judge allowed the second round of injections to proceed as planned.
To give a sentimental gloss to the brutality, we get the standard juicy details of what each man ate for his final meal. "Arkansas" was humane enough to give them whatever they wanted. Fortunately, unlike the 1992 case in which the brain-damaged Ricky Ray Rector decided to save his dessert "for later" after Governor Bill Clinton gave the final OK for his execution, both men apparently ate every bite of their final repasts, which included Butterfingers and Mountain Dews. Real Southern hospitality was extended by "Arkansas."
Arkansas politicians and their henchmen are on an accelerated execution schedule, given that the companies manufacturing the heavy duty tranquillizers used off-label as chemical homicide agents are now refusing to sell them for such terrible purposes. As a result, the pencil-pushing executioners are in a hurry to use the medication they already have in stock, before it expires. Heaven forbid that they administer an expired drug to their patients. It might have gone stale or even toxic. It might have become too dangerous to use. And that would be so inhumane.
You have to look far and wide to find any news account which assigns human agency to the executions. Creede Newton at The Intercept breaks out of the mold through his article about the Arkansas medical director being in danger of losing his license for procuring the capital punishment drugs under false therapeutic pretenses. Unfortunately, we are not made privy to Doctor Death's actual name, because "Arkansas" has a law protecting the identities of such people. It's telling that the lawsuit against the good doctor was not filed by any human rights group, but by the pharmaceutical distribution company being asked, by fraudulent means, to provide the drug in question.
Even reporters scoring tickets to the Arkansas executions on Monday night were not truly allowed to witness them. They were given the censored version. As Jacob Rosenberg writes in his own harrowing account, spectators were barred from viewing the human placement of the IV delivering the drugs. A black curtain separated them from the procedure, and the audio feed was also frequently cut off throughout the death process.
... Even as a witness, I could not say if Marcel Williams felt pain or what happened during his death by the midazolam three-drug protocol.Maybe we should change our exceptional nation's mottoes from E Pluribus Unum and In God We Trust to our own three-drug protocol: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.
The process is designed to feed me details as a viewer that can give me the appearance of peaceful passing. But this will not have been the experience of Marcel Williams. By the time the potassium chloride, which stops the heart and can be excruciatingly painful, was administered, the protocol ensures that even if the prisoner felt pain I would not see it. The paralytic was in place.