ROGERS, Ark. – Arkansas’s first lethal injections in more than a decade are scheduled to begin in less than a week.
The first double execution, Don Davis and Bruce Ward, is set for April 17. They are the only two of eight inmates to not request a clemency hearing.
After the Arkansas Parole Board recommended clemency to the governor for Jason McGehee’s case, a federal judge issued a ruling blocking his execution alongside Kenneth Williams April 27.
The other seven lethal injections are scheduled to go as planned.
“I was in shock for a long time,” said Susan Khani, the daughter of Davis’s victim.
After 27 years, the shock from Khani’s loss has faded, but a mother’s love is hard to forget.
“I mean, how can you?,” she asked. “Your mother.”
On October 12, 1990, 62-year-old Jane Daniel was at her home in Rogers when 27-year-old Davis robbed her then shot her in the head execution-style.
“When I came back, her brains were on the ceiling and the walls,” Khani remembered.
Davis was sentenced to death two years later.
“I don’t want him to be able to speak my mother’s name ever again,” Khani said. “He’s the last person that saw her at her most vulnerable time. That’s why I want him put to death.”
But throughout the years, litigation stayed his execution, forcing Khani to hear Davis’s name over and over again.
“I’ve been promised this a couple of times,” she said. “And I hope this time it goes through.”
One of the only things standing in the way is a lawsuit against one of the lethal injection drugs.
“He can suffer,” Khani said. “I don’t care because we’ve suffered long enough, and my mom really suffered that last day.”
Even so, Khani said April 17 won’t be a day of celebration.
“I’ll be very sad,” she said. “I know that because the day they found him guilty, I cried because this was senseless, you know, two deaths.”
Davis may have some last words, but Khani does not.
“I’ve thought of that, and I really have nothing to say to him,” she said.
In the end, as a mother herself, Khani showed her son how his grandmother would have acted, what she would have wanted: forgiveness.
“I forgave him immediately,” Khani said. “Oh yeah. But it has nothing to do with him. I did this for my mom because she would never want us to be unhappy. She wants us to be happy and move on, to still laugh and love.”
Khani said she would have been satisfied with life without parole only if that was Davis’s initial sentence.