In a 5-4 vote, The Supreme Court of the United States may proceed to its first planned execution in 17 years.
BREAKING: US carries out first federal execution in 17 years, putting to death a man who killed an Arkansas family in 1996. https://t.co/pEGVKghEu3— The Associated Press (@AP) July 14, 2020
The BOP, under 28 C.F.R. Part 26 has scheduled executions for four inmates.
- Daniel Lewis Lee was supposed to be executed on Monday, convicted of torturing and killing a family in Arkansas in 1996, dumping their bodies in a lake.
- Wesley Ira Purkey, due to be executed on Wednesday, sentenced in Missouri in 2003 for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl whose body he dismembered, burnt and dumped in a septic pond.
- Dustin Lee Honken, due to be executed on Friday, sentenced in Iowa in 2004 for shooting dead five people including two girls aged six and 10.
- Keith Dwayne Nelson, set to be executed next month, sentenced in Missouri in 2001 for the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl behind a church.
Court order by District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Monday halted Daniel Lewis Lee’s and three others' schedule of execution.
The condemned prisoners had been scheduled to receive a dose of pentobarbital through a lethal injection. They have argued that this method of execution is cruel and unusual punishment that violates their constitutional right. The Supreme Court noted that the drug has been repeatedly invoked by prisoners as a less painful and risky alternative than that of other lethal injection protocols of other jurisdictions.
In 2019, Trump’s administration said it would resume federal execution and has been criticized as a political decision. Attorney General William Barr said at that time, "The justice department upholds the rule of law - and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system."