The Washington Federal Court issued an interim injunction on the execution of death sentences in the United States. Recall that in June, US Secretary of Justice William Barr ordered the resumption of the death sentences imposed by federal courts. The US Secretary of Justice called the resumption of executions “a duty” to the victims’ relatives.
The death penalty as a punishment for particularly serious crimes was restored for federal crimes in 1988 and was used extremely rarely. In 2014, then-President Barack Obama demanded a review of the federal protocol for executions after one of the cases in Oklahoma took an hour to find a vein for a needle for a lethal injection. Last year, Presidential Administration Donald Trump announced that the revision of the protocol had been successfully completed.
Judge Tanya Chatkan’s decision today says the new protocol violates the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights and prohibits cruel and unusual punishments, as well as excessive liens and fines. Judge Chatkan explained her position by saying that the administration of Donald Trump sets the execution dates too hastily, despite the fact that the consideration of many applications has not yet been completed. “The government has the right to choose dates, but the court cannot rush just to make it to these dates,” the judge noted. She added that there is good reason that the drug that the Justice Ministry is going to use for a fatal injection “causes a feeling of strangulation or drowning,” thus causing “extreme pain, torment, and panic,” which contradicts the provisions of the Eighth Amendment.
After this decision was made, the US Department of Justice announced that it intends to appeal it.