Dustin John Higgs is set up to pass away on Friday, capping an unmatched spree of federal executions that began last summertime amidst a raving pandemic and set to end just days before a brand-new president is sworn in.

Higgs, 48, is the last of the federal death row prisoners presently arranged for execution. Higgs’ attorneys have actually gotten in touch with the Department of Justice to withdraw his execution date after he became he first federal death row prisoner to contract COVID-19 last month.

Cory Johnson, who also tested favorable for the infection, and Lisa Montgomery, the only lady on federal death row, are likewise facing execution this week.

Higgs and Johnson are waiting for a judgment on lawsuits collectively filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop their executions, that argues it would be an infraction of the Eighth Change’s restriction on terrible and uncommon punishment to perform them while they are still recuperating from COVID-19

However if Higgs’ execution proceeds on Friday, he will be put to death at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana simply five days prior to Biden, a death sentence opponent, is inaugurated.

The Trump administration resumed federal executions last summer and went on to execute more people in a single year than any administration in more than a century.

U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute Indiana
A sign rests on the edge of the home at the Federal Correctional Complex on July 13, 2020 in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Higgs, a Black man, was sentenced to death in 2000 for the kidnapping and murder of three girls.

According to the Department of Justice, Higgs and 2 buddies had driven to Washington, D.C. in January 1996 to pick up the women– Tamika Black, 19; Tanji Jackson, 21; and Mishann Chinn, 23– and drive them back to his house in Laurel, Maryland.

Prosecutors said after one of the females rebuffed his advances, Higgs provided them a trip back to Washington, D.C. however rather drove them to a remote location in a national park, gave a weapon to among his pals and stated, “much better make certain they’re dead.” The other guy shot all three lady dead, according to the DOJ.

But Higgs’ attorneys have argued that he didn’t in fact eliminate anyone, had ineffective counsel at trial and did not be worthy of to die. They noted that his co-defendant, Willis Haynes, was the sole shooter in the case, but was tried independently and not sentenced to death.

” There is no principled basis to perform Dustin Higgs given that the shooter in this case is serving a life sentence and the trial prosecutors actively misled the jury in Dustin’s case,” Shawn Nolan, one of Higgs’ attorneys, stated in a statement to Newsweek.

” The federal government need to not carry out yet another super-spreader execution in the heart of this global pandemic. The DOJ needs to withdraw Dustin’s execution date or President Trump ought to commute his death sentence.”

It argues that at Haynes’ trial, which took location prior to Higgs’, the government turned down the defense that he had acted at Higgs’ instructions.

The petiton also keeps in mind that Haynes himself has actually stated in a sworn declaration that Higgs “didn’t make me do anything that night or ever” yet district attorneys relied on a “highly suspect” witness who testified that Higgs ordered Haynes to shoot the women, in exchange for beneficial treatment in other cases.

The petition also notes Higgs has been a “design prisoner” throughout his decades on death row and has been a loving father to his boy Da’Quan Darby, who was born quickly after his arrest.


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