Feds Schedule First Executions Since 2003

4 federal inmates will be executed this summer, Barr says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2020 3:24 PM CDT
Feds Schedule First Executions Since 2003
In this Oct. 27, 2004 hoto, Dustin Honken, left, is led by US marshals from the federal building in Sioux City, Iowa, after the jury chose the death sentence.   (Tim Hynds/Sioux City Journal via AP, File)

The federal government plans to execute more people this summer than it did in the previous 30 years combined. The Justice Department says four inmates—all child-killers—will be put to death by lethal injection in July and August, NPR reports. On July 13, Daniel Lewis Lee, a former white supremacist who killed a family of three, including an 8-year-old girl, will become the first federal inmate to be executed since 2003. Wesley Ira Purkey will be executed July 15 for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl. Dustin Lee Honken, who killed five people, including the two young daughters of a drug informant's girlfriend, will be executed July 17. Keith Dwayne Nelson will be executed August 28 for the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl.

"The four murderers whose executions are scheduled today have received full and fair proceedings under our Constitution and laws," Attorney General William Barr said in a statement. "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 has only executed three people, including Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, since the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988. Barr had planned to resume executions last year, but the executions were delayed by legal challenges, reports CNN. More than 60 other prisoners are on federal death row, and Barr says more executions will be scheduled at a later date. (Read more execution stories.)

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