A court in the United States has postponed the execution of the first federal death penalty in 17 years
This was reported by Reuters.
As previously reported, on Sunday, July 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a ruling that executed the first federal prisoner in the last 17 years, Daniel Lewis Lee, convicted of killing a family of three.
Also, between July and August, three men convicted of killing children were to be executed – Wesley Purky, Dustin Honken, and Keith Nelson.
On Monday, July 13, judge of the US District Court in Washington, Tanya Chutkan, ordered the US Department of Justice to postpone the execution of these convicts. The decision was announced seven hours before the sentence of Daniel Lewis Lee was to be executed.
Following Chutkan’s decision, those sentenced to death will be able to continue litigation against the new protocol adopted in 2019. According to the document, pentobarbital is the only authorized drug used in the execution of convicts. This is a powerful barbiturate that, when injected with a high dose, causes the person’s lungs to fill with bloody fluid, making him feel like he is drowning for a while before he faints.
The use of pentobarbital, according to medical experts, will bring extreme pain and suffering to those executed, which violates the constitutional ban on “cruel and unusual” methods of punishment. Convicts in court want the US Department of Justice to add morphine or a similar painkiller to the drug list or to allow execution by firing squad.
“The scientific evidence presented to the court, in the vast majority of cases, indicates that the 2019 protocol is very likely to cause plaintiffs extreme pain and unnecessary suffering during their executions,” said Judge Chutkan.