Federal government carries out 13th and final execution under Trump

The government early Saturday carried out the 13th and final execution of a federal inmate under the Trump administration.

Dustin Higgs died by lethal injection at a federal prison in Indiana shortly after midnight, The Associated Press reported.

Higgs was convicted in 2000 after being found guilty of kidnapping and ordering the murders of three women. He reportedly claimed he was innocent before his execution on Saturday morning and did not apologize for his role in the deaths of the women. 

“I’d like to say I am an innocent man. … I am not responsible for the deaths. I did not order the murders,” he said, according to the AP.

The execution comes days after an appeals court ruled that the administration could move forward with the capital punishment for Higgs and another inmate, Corey Johnson, after both executions had been previously halted by a federal judge after the inmates were diagnosed with COVID-19.

The Supreme Court voted 6-3 to deny a stay in the case late Friday, clearing the way for Higgs’s execution.

Johnson was convicted in 1993 of seven murders in Virginia that had been linked to drug trafficking activities.

The inmates are among four Black men who have been executed by the Trump administration since December, before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

This past week, the administration also executed a woman, Lisa Montgomery, who had been convicted in 2007 for killing a pregnant woman and removing a fetus from her body using a knife. She was the first woman to die by federal execution in roughly seven decades.

Her death came after her legal team argued Montgomery had suffered from a mental illness. Her illness had also been acknowledged by the government ahead of the execution, though the government argued Montgomery was able to understand she would be executed. 

The Trump administration has executed 13 inmates since announcing last July that it would be resuming capital punishment for the first time in almost two decades.

Last year, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) introduced a measure that sought to abolish the death penalty shortly after the announcement by the Trump administration.

She also penned a letter in December calling on the incoming Biden administration to make abolishing the death penalty a priority, joining calls from other Democrats urging the same.

Tags Ayanna Pressley Joe Biden

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