Dustin Higgs executed less than a week before Inauguration Day

Dustin John Higgs was executed in the early hours of Saturday morning becoming the 13th and last federal death row inmate to be executed since the Justice Department restarted federal executions in July 2019. He had been convicted of kidnapping and murdering three women in 1996.

Higgsvictims were Tamika Black, 19; Tanji Jackson, 21; and Mishann Chinn, 23.
Higgsexecution went forward despite his attorney, Shawn Nolan’s appeal to delay the proceeding because of HiggsCovid-19 diagnosis. Nolan also argued that Higgs was unfairly sentenced since the gunman is serving a life sentence.
Higgsexecution was initially scheduled for the 92nd birthday of Rev. 马丁路德金.
King’s oldest son, Martin Luther King III, wrote an op-ed on Thursday in The Washington Post calling for the end to executions by invoking his father’s words from 1957 when asked if God approves of the death penalty. “I do not think that God approves the death penalty for any crimecapital punishment is against the better judgment of modern criminology and, 首先, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God,” King said.

The Crime

在一月 1996, Higgs and two friends drove to Washington to pick up Black, 杰克逊, and Chinn, whom Higgs had invited to his apartment in Laurel, 马里兰州, according to a Department of Justice statement. At the apartment, Jackson rebuffed an advance by Higgs and the women left. Higgs offered the women a ride back to Washington but instead drove to a secluded area in the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, 声明添加.
He ordered the women out of the vehicle, gave a gun to one of the friends, and said, “better make sure they’re dead.The other man shot Black and Jackson in the chest and back, and shot Chinn in the back of the head, killing all three women, 声明说.
在 2000, a Maryland jury found Higgs guilty of numerous federal offenses, including three counts of first-degree premeditated murder, three counts of first-degree felony murder, and three counts of kidnapping resulting in death, and unanimously recommended nine death sentences, which the court imposed, 声明说.
Higgsconvictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal nearly 17 几年前, and his initial round of collateral challenges failed nearly eight years ago, 声明添加.

Biden’s take on the death penalty

Attorney General William Barr resumed federal executions in July 2019 after a 17-year hiatus to bringjustice to victims of the most horrific crimes.The federal government has authorized the executions of 13 federal death row inmates in about six months. While executions are carried out every year on the state level, federal executions have been extremely rare until last year.
The Biden campaign has spoken out against the federal death penalty, due in part to the amount of wrongfully convicted inmates who have been given these sentences.
While President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to abolish the federal death penalty and to give incentives to states to stop seeking death sentences as a part of his criminal justice plan, 40 members of Congress want to make sure the practice ends on his first day in office.