The U.S. Supreme Court approved the first federal executions in 17 years on Tuesday., overturned an earlier decision by another court that suspended them.
“We are revoking the preliminary decision from the district court and the executions can take place as planned,” the Supreme Court said, referring to the planned executions of four prisoners in death row.
The verdict against Daniel Lewis Lee, 47, a white supremacist convicted of the murder of a family of three in 1996, was scheduled for Monday in Terre Haute Prison., in the state of Indiana (downtown).
However, District Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered that the sentence be suspended hours earlier to allow for challenges to the lethal injection protocols that will apply to it and three other death row inmates for federal crimes.
“The public is not well served and ignores a legitimate legal process“Sa domaren.
The Ministry of Justice immediately appealed Chutkan’s sentence and the Supreme Court agreed with him.
The detainees “have not done what is necessary to justify a last-minute intervention by a federal court”, the Supreme Court of America confirmed.
Lee, originally from the Yukon, Oklahoma, would be the first federal prisoner to be executed in the United States since 2003. Since the death penalty was reintroduced in 1988, there have been only three federal executions.
Lee was convicted in Arkansas in 1999 of murdering William Mueller, an arms dealer, his wife, Nancy, and their eight-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell.
Earlene Peterson, whose daughter and granddaughter were killed by LeeHe apologized to President Donald Trump but has ignored his request.
Also, the relatives of the victims asked to postpone the execution due to the coronavirus pandemic until they can travel safely to witness the procedure.
They claimed that they had to face an “impossible choice” between their right to participate in the execution and respect for their health.
Because this is an execution that involves many people: “prison staff, lawyers, relatives of the victims or accused, journalists, a chaplain …”, Robert Dunham, head of the death penalty information center, told AFP (DPIC), referring to the subject .
It is “irresponsible to want to carry out so many executions in such a short time” in this context of health crisis, stressed Dunham, who condemned a “political instrumentalization of the death penalty”.
After announcing the resumption of these executions last year, Justice Minister Bill Barr set out his calendar in June, just as new cases of coronavirus were on the rise in large parts of the country.
In the United States, most crimes are tried at the state level, but federal justice can deal with the most serious crimes (terrorist attacks, racist crimes) or those committed on military bases.
Support for the death penalty has been eroded among Americans, according to opinion polls, but is still strong among Republican voters, of whom 77% are in favor of this punishment for murderers.
With information from AFP
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