The Washington Supreme Court has June 29, 2020 denied blocking the execution of four prisoners who are scheduled to be put to death in July and August. As per the order the executions would mark the first use of the death penalty on the federal level since 2003.
The judicial authorities comprising
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor noted that they would have
blocked the executions from going forward. And hence, the court's action has
left no obstacles standing in the way of the executions, the first of which is
scheduled for July 13. The inmates are separately asking a federal judge in
Washington to impose a new delay on their executions over other legal issues
that have yet to be resolved.
The activity at the high court came after
Attorney General William Barr directed the federal Bureau of Prisons to
schedule the executions. Three of the men had been scheduled to be put to death
when Barr first announced the federal government would resume executions last
year, ending an informal moratorium on federal capital punishment as the issue
receded from the public domain. The Attorney General, in a statement said, “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”.
The four murderers whose executions are scheduled today have received full and fair proceedings under our Constitution and laws. We owe it to the victims of these horrific crimes, and to the families left behind, to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system. The federal government’s initial effort was put on hold by a trial judge after the inmates challenged the new execution procedures, and the federal appeals court in Washington and the Supreme Court both declined to step in late last year. But in April, the appeals court threw out the judge’s order.