Washington, United States:
US authorities carried out the 13th and last federal execution of Donald Trump’s presidency Saturday, media experiences stated, lower than every week earlier than the White House is taken over by Democrat Joe Biden, who opposes the loss of life penalty.
Dustin Higgs, a 48-year-old Black man, was executed by deadly injection on the federal penitentiary in Terre-Haute in Indiana hours after the US Supreme Court rejected a keep of execution, the New York Times reported.
Higgs was pronounced useless at 1:23 am native time, the Times stated, citing a press release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
In January 1996, Higgs invited three younger girls to his residence close to the capital Washington, together with two of his buddies. When one of many younger girls rebuffed his advances, he provided to drive them dwelling however as a substitute stopped in an remoted federal nature reserve outdoors the town.
According to the Department of Justice, he then ordered one in every of his buddies to shoot the three girls. In 2000, he was sentenced to loss of life for kidnapping and homicide. The man who pulled the set off was sentenced to life imprisonment with no likelihood 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.
But the Republican president, a staunch defender of the loss of life penalty, didn’t comply with up. On the opposite, his administration fought in courtroom to have the ability to proceed with the execution earlier than he leaves the White House subsequent week.
A courtroom had ordered a keep of execution on the grounds that Higgs contracted Covid-19 and that, along with his broken lungs, he would possible undergo cruelly on the time of an injection of pentobarbital.
The Department of Justice instantly appealed and gained the case.
The last bid to halt the execution then went earlier than the Supreme Court, whose conservative majority — firmly established by Trump appointees — has systematically given the inexperienced mild to federal executions for the reason that summer season.
– ‘This is just not justice’ –
The Trump administration resumed federal executions in July following a 17-year hiatus, carrying them out at an unprecedented fee.
Among the 12 individuals put to loss of life since then was, for the primary time in practically 70 years, a girl — Lisa Montgomery, executed Tuesday regardless of doubts about her psychological well being.
At 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 word to Friday’s choice by the Supreme Court. “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 loss of life penalty on the federal stage.
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 a press release Saturday the American Civil Liberties Union referred to as on Biden to commute the sentences of all these on federal loss of life row and take away the loss of life 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.