The State of Arkansas performed its 200th execution on Thursday, with the death of Kenneth Williams.
From April 20 – April 27, inmates Ledell Lee, Jack Jones, Marcel Williams and Kenneth Williams, all paid the price of their crimes by being put to death by lethal injection. Four other inmates originally scheduled to die were spared.
On Thursday night, Governor Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge release statements on the final execution.
Gov. Hutchinson said Arkansas can “reflect in confidence” that the systems of laws has worked.
Hutchinson’s full statement is as follows:
“The long path of justice ended tonight and Arkansans can reflect on the last two weeks with confidence that our system of laws in this state has worked. Carrying out the penalty of the jury in the Kenneth Williams case was necessary. There has never been a question of guilt.
In 1999, Williams was serving a life sentence for the murder of 19-year-old Nikki Hurd when he escaped and proceeded to kill again: 57-year-old Cecil Boren, a grandfather and husband to Genie, and a Missouri man, 24-year-old Michael Greenwood. Williams would later confess to the unsolved murder of 36-year-old Jerrell Jenkins, a father and stepfather.
In the last seven days, after decades of waiting, the families of Debra Reese, Christine Lewis, Mary Phillips, Lorraine Anne Barrett, Stacy Errickson, Nikki Hurd, Jerrell Jenkins and Cecil Boren were finally provided the justice they were promised and they also saw that our system of laws have meaning.”
AG Rutledge also released a statement, saying the law was upheld.
“Tonight the rule of law was upheld as the family of Cecil Boren saw justice done. On October 3, 1999, Cecil was simply going about his daily life at his home near the Cummins Prison Unit when he was shot and killed by an escapee who was serving life imprisonment without parole for capital murder. I pray this lawful execution will bring closure and peace to the Boren family.”