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U.S. Supreme Court allows federal executions to proceed

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U.S. Supreme Court allows federal executions to proceed

By Shubham Kalia and Jonathan Allen

 

2020-07-14T082728Z_1_LYNXNPEG6D0FV_RTROPTP_4_USA-COURT-TERM.JPG

A general view of U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago/File Photo

 

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the first federal executions in 17 years could proceed, overturning an injunction blocking them in order to allow legal challenges to the government's lethal-injection protocol to continue.

 

Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. district court in Washington had on Monday ordered the justice department to delay four executions scheduled for July and August.

 

Chutkan's order was issued less than seven hours before the execution of Daniel Lee was due to take place in Terre Haute, Indiana. The order was later affirmed by a U.S. appeals court.

 

"The plaintiffs in this case have not made the showing required to justify last-minute intervention by a Federal Court. Last-minute stays like that issued this morning should be the extreme exception, not the norm," the Supreme Court said.

 

"The government has produced competing expert testimony of its own, indicating that any pulmonary edema occurs only after the prisoner has died or been rendered fully insensate," the court added.

 

The authorities were prepared to move forward with Lee's execution at 4 am EDT (0800 GMT) on Tuesday after the Supreme Court's decision, documents filed in the district court in Washington by Lee's lawyers showed.

 

"In light of the imminent and irreparable harm that he faces, Lee respectfully requests that the court immediately issue a ruling on his pending supplemental claim and motion for preliminary injunction," his lawyers said.

 

Reuters could not verify if the execution took place at 4 am EDT. The U.S. justice department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

Attorney General William Barr had announced last July that the Justice Department would resume carrying out executions of some of the 62 inmates on federal death row.

 

He originally scheduled five executions for last December, but was ordered to delay them by Chutkan while long-running lawsuits challenging the government's lethal-injection protocol played out.

 

An appeals court overturned that injunction in April, and Barr announced new execution dates for July and August of four inmates, all men convicted of murdering children: Lee, Wesley Purkey, Dustin Honken and Keith Nelson.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-07-14
 
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This scum has gone down.

 

US carries out 1st federal execution in nearly 2 decades

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - (AP) — The U.S. government on Tuesday carried out the first federal execution in almost two decades, putting to death a man who killed an Arkansas family in a 1990s in a plot to build a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest. The execution came over the objection of the victims’ family.

https://www.fox5dc.com/news/us-carries-out-1st-federal-execution-in-nearly-2-decades

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Although I am a Democrat, I love the death penalty. When a heinous crime has been established through solid DNA evidence and/or eye witnesses or video. 

 

Except, I don't support the appeal process. I say just do it. Carry out the sentence within 30 days of conviction, instead of 30 years and many millions later. 

 

Some crimes simply amount to a self revocation, of the right to consume oxygen. See ya!

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Another-one bites the dust.

 

US executes 2nd man in a week; lawyers said he had dementia

By Michael Balsamo and Jessica Gresko
Published 3 hours ago
Updated 17 mins ago
IRA-PURKEY.png?ve=1&tl=1article

Federal inmate: Wesley Ira Purkey

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The United States on Thursday carried out its second federal execution this week, killing by lethal injection a Kansas man whose lawyers contended he had dementia and was unfit to be executed.

Wesley Ira Purkey was put to death at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. Purkey was convicted of kidnapping and killing a 16-year-old girl before dismembering, burning and dumping her body in a septic pond. He also was convicted in a state court in Kansas after using a claw hammer to kill an 80-year-old woman who had polio.

  
 
 
 
 

The Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution to take place just hours before, ruling in a 5-4 decision. The four liberal justices dissented, like they did for the first case earlier this week.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that "proceeding with Purkey's execution now, despite the grave questions and factual findings regarding his mental competency, casts a shroud of constitutional doubt over the most irrevocable of injuries." She was joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.

 

It was the federal government's second execution after a 17-year hiatus. Another man, Daniel Lewis Lee, was put to death Tuesday after his eleventh hour legal bids failed.

Both executions were delayed into the day after they were scheduled as legal wrangling continued late into the night and into the next morning.

The Justice Department has been questioned for holding the executions in the middle of the worsening coronavirus pandemic, prompting lawsuits over fears those who would travel to the prison could become infected. The decision to resume executions after nearly two decades was criticized as a dangerously political move in an election year, forcing an issue that is not high on the list of American priorities considering the 11% unemployment rate and the pandemic.

   Purkey's lawyers had argued his condition had deteriorated so severely that he didn't understand why he was being executed. They said he was repeatedly sexually assaulted as a child and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions.

The issue of Purkey's mental health arose in the run-up to his 2003 trial and when, after the verdict, jurors had to decide whether he should be put to death in the killing of 16-year-old Jennifer Long in Kansas City, Missouri. Prosecutors said he raped and stabbed her, dismembered her with a chainsaw, burned her and dumped her ashes 200 miles (320 kilometers) away in a septic pond in Kansas. Purkey was separately convicted and sentenced to life in the beating death of 80-year-old Mary Ruth Bales, of Kansas City, Kansas.

 Purkey had a long history of childhood trauma, was sexually abused by family members and a Catholic priest and was beaten by other family members, said Liz Vartkessian, a mitigation specialist who worked with Purkey's legal team and visited him dozens of times in the last five years.

"His case is replete with instances where he has expressed a deep remorse," she said in an interview earlier this month.

But recently, Purkey's mental health had seriously deteriorated to the point he didn't have the stamina for long visits with his legal team and often forgot key facts and dates, she said.

Correction officers had to help him write down a schedule to remember his visits with his lawyers, she said.

He also had a long history of paranoia and delusions and believed the Justice Department was moving forward with his execution because of many complaints and lawsuits he brought in prison, even though most had failed, Vartkessian said.

The Supreme Court also lifted a hold placed on other executions set for Friday and next month.

Dustin Honken, a drug kingpin from Iowa convicted of killing five people in a scheme to silence former dealers, was scheduled for execution Friday.

https://www.ktvu.com/news/us-executes-2nd-man-in-a-week-lawyers-said-he-had-dementia

 

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