The Supreme Court on Monday declined a challenge by several death row inmates asking justices to clarify the law on how the government carries out federal executions. The decision paves way for the Trump administration to push forward with its plans to resume federal executions after a nearly 20-year pause.
The four inmates who were convicted for murdering children argued that their scheduled lethal injections would violate the 1994 Federal Death Penalty Act, which says that the method of execution should be determined by the state where a capital crime is committed.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was initially blocked from carrying out the executions after a district court granted a preliminary injunction, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled early April that the Trump administrations plan to resume executions of federal death row prisoners by lethal injection is lawful, tossing out the lower courts decision.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor indicated in Mondays order that they would have taken up the appeal.
Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr ordered the BOP to schedule the executions of the four inmates—Daniel Lewis Lee, Wesley Ira Purkey, Dustin Lee Honken, and Keith Dwayne Nelson. Their executions have been scheduled for dates in July and August.
In an emailed statement, Ruth Friedman, a lawyer for Daniel Lee, one of the four inmates, criticized the top courts decision to not take up the case.
“The federal death penalty is arbitrary, racially-biased, and rife with poor lawyering and junk science. Problems unique to the federal death penalty include over-federalization of traditionally state crimes and restricted judicial review,” she said in the statement on Monday.
“Given the unfairness built into the federal death penalty systRead More From Source