WASHINGTON: US authorities carried out the thirteenth and ultimate federal execution of Donald Trump’s presidency Saturday, media experiences stated, lower than every week earlier than the White Home is taken over by Democrat Joe Biden, who opposes the demise penalty.
Dustin Higgs, a 48-year-old African-American man, was executed by deadly injection on the federal penitentiary in Terre-Haute in Indiana hours after the US Supreme Courtroom rejected a keep of execution, the New York Occasions reported.
Higgs was pronounced lifeless at 1:23am native time, the Occasions stated, citing an announcement from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
In January 1996, Higgs invited three younger girls to his house close to the capital Washington, together with two of his mates. When one of many younger girls rebuffed his advances, he supplied to drive them house however as a substitute stopped in an remoted federal nature reserve outdoors the town.
In keeping with the Division of Justice, he then ordered one in all his mates to shoot the three girls. In 2000, he was sentenced to demise for kidnapping and homicide. The person who pulled the set off was sentenced to life imprisonment with no probability of parole.
“It is arbitrary and inequitable to punish Mr Higgs more severely than the actual killer,” stated Higgs’ lawyer Shawn Nolan, in a plea for clemency addressed to President Trump on the finish of January.
However the Republican president, a staunch defender of the demise penalty, didn’t observe up. Quite the opposite, his administration fought in court docket to have the ability to proceed with the execution earlier than he leaves the White Home subsequent week.
A court docket had ordered a keep of execution on the grounds that Higgs contracted Covid-19 and that, together with his broken lungs, he would seemingly undergo cruelly on the time of an injection of pentobarbital.
The Division of Justice instantly appealed and received the case.
The ultimate bid to halt the execution then went earlier than the Supreme Courtroom, whose conservative majority — firmly established by Trump appointees — has systematically given the inexperienced gentle to federal executions for the reason that summer time.
‘This isn’t justice’
The Trump administration resumed federal executions in July following a 17-year hiatus, carrying them out at an unprecedented fee.
Among the many 12 folks put to demise since then was, for the primary time in practically 70 years, a lady — Lisa Montgomery, executed Tuesday regardless of doubts about her psychological well being.
Learn: US executes first lady on federal demise row after a long time
On the identical time, states postponed all executions to keep away from spreading the virus.
“This is not justice,” wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a dissenting observe to Friday´s determination by the Supreme Courtroom. “After waiting almost two decades to resume federal executions, the Government should have proceeded with some measure of restraint to ensure it did so lawfully.”
“When it did not, this Court should have. It has not. Because the Court continues this pattern today, I dissent.”
President-elect Biden, who will likely be sworn in on Wednesday, has vowed to work with Congress to attempt to abolish the demise penalty on the federal degree.
Democratic lawmakers on Monday launched a invoice to that impact and since their celebration has regained management of the Senate, it stands an opportunity of being adopted.
In an announcement Saturday the American Civil Liberties Union known as on Biden to commute the sentences of all these on federal demise row and take away the demise penalty from all pending trials.
“This swift action is the only adequate response to the degrading and unconstitutional execution spree and to ensure that the federal government is never able to do this again,” it stated.