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DOJ sets new execution dates for federal inmates

 DOJ sets new execution dates for federal inmates
© Greg Nash

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has directed the federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the executions for federal death-row inmates beginning in mid-July.

The decision comes after a months-long legal battle over the plan to resume federal executions for the first time since 2003.

“The American people, acting through Congress and Presidents of both political parties, have long instructed that defendants convicted of the most heinous crimes should be subject to a sentence of death,” Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBoehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Dominion: Ex-Michigan state senator 'sowing discord in our democracy' with election fraud claims Hunter Biden says he doesn't know if Delaware laptop was his MORE said in a statement.

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The moratorium on federal executions was due in part to a widespread shortage during the Obama administration of lethal injection drugs in the so-called three-drug cocktail.

In an effort to resume capital punishment at the federal level, Barr announced last July that executions would occur through the use of a single drug, pentobarbital sodium.

The DOJ announced Monday that four inmates convicted of killing children would be executed in July and August.  

The inmates scheduled for execution are: Daniel Lee, a member of a white supremacist group who was convicted of murdering a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl; Wesley Purkey, who was convicted of raping and murdering a 16-year-old girl and killed an 80-year-old woman in Missouri; Dustin Honken, who is convicted of killing five people in Iowa, including two children; and Keith Dwayne Nelson, who is convicted of kidnapping a 10-year-old girl who was rollerblading in front of her Kansas home and raping her in a forest behind a church before strangling the young girl with a wire.