United States Supreme Court with a ratio of 5:4 has cleared the way for the resumption of execution of federal prisoners. The Judges voted to allow the first executions on the federal level since 2003 (17 years) to proceed at the Federal Prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. The majority in an unsigned opinion, observed that that the prisoners on death row had “not made the showing required to justify last-minute intervention.” Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, JJ., dissented with the majority.
Several executions including the scheduled execution of Daniel Lewis Lee (charged guilty of triple murders) were delayed after U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled on Monday that there were still unresolved legal challenges against the justice department; and that “the public is not served by short-circuiting legitimate judicial process.” The condemned prisoners had contended that the lethal injections constitute “cruel and unusual punishments”. Perusing the contentions, the District Judge had observed that the inmates have presented evidence showing that the government’s plan to use only pentobarbital to carry out the executions “poses an unconstitutionally significant risk of serious pain.
In view of the District Judge’s decision, The Justice Department lost no time and appealed to both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court. After the Administration’s efforts were thwarted by the D.C., a divided Supreme Court stepped in to rule that federal executions can proceed.
As reported by BBC,
United States Supreme Court has cleared the way for the first executions of federal prisoners to be held in 17 years.
Several executions were delayed after a judge ruled on Monday that there were still unresolved legal challenges against the justice department.
Triple murderer Daniel Lewis Lee is among those facing the death penalty.
The condemned prisoners have argued that lethal injections constitute “cruel and unusual punishments“.
[Story to be updated]
[Source: Washington Post & BBC]