Federal Executions to Resume in July

After the Supreme Court refused to take up a case challenging the federal government’s new execution protocol, as noted in Kent’s post below, federal executions are set to resume in July.

Attorney General William Barr ordered execution dates for four convicted child murderers, after a two-decade hiatus. His Justice Department will begin executing these inmates in July, after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal challenging the government’s new lethal injection procedure.

In a statement earlier this month, Barr explained, “The American people, acting through Congress and Presidents of both political parties, have long instructed that defendants convicted of the most heinous crimes should be subject to a sentence of death. The four murderers whose executions are scheduled today have received full and fair proceedings under our Constitution and laws. We owe it to the victims of these horrific crimes, and to the families left behind, to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”

The inmates scheduled for this month’s executions are Danny Lee, who was convicted in Arkansas of killing a family of three, including the family’s 8-year-old daughter; Wesley Purkey who raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl and killed an 80-year-old woman; Dustin Lee Honkey, who killed five individuals in Iowa, including two children; and Keith Dwayne Nelson, who kidnapped, raped, and strangled a 10-year-old girl who was rollerblading in front of her home.

In a separate issue, these inmates are asking a federal judge in Washington to impose a new delay on their execution dates, over other legal issues yet to be resolved.