This week the Department of Justice under the direction of Attorney General William Barr carried out the first three federal executions after a 17-year-hiatus. The fourth federal execution of Keith Nelson is scheduled to take place Aug. 28th 2020, as calls for a stay of execution continue.
Legal teams for all three men who were executed this week consistently tried halting the executions based on the Religious Freedom Act, the Federal Death Penalty Act, and the 8th Amendment.
In all three instances of execution this week, the United States Supreme Court cast 5-4 votes allowing the executions to move forward. The split votes of the highest court in the United States continues to cast significant doubt on the constitutionality of many of its recent decisions, including decisions of life and death. You can read more about the timeline of events during the federal executions this past week from Death Penalty Information Center and Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
Both Mr. Lee and Mr. Purkeys executions occurred after midnight deadlines without death warrants, leading many attorneys in death penalty litigation to question the legality of each execution.
Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty joins in the call to action from Sister Helen Prejean asking for Congress to investigate these executions. We are grateful to everyone who gathered at the Federal Courthouse in Kansas City to stand in solidarity with abolition groups in Terre Haute Indiana, and across the nation in opposition to the executions of Daniel Lee, Wesley Purkey and Dustin Honken. We uplift all victims of the death penalty, including those who were unnecessarily subjected to this barbaric system this week.
We will continue to work together in our call to abolish the death penalty in Missouri and across the nation.
Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
Elyse Max, State Director
Lauren Sobchak, Organizer
For more ways to stay involved with MADP:
-Sign this PETITION to #SaveErnestJohnson, an intellectually disabled man set for execution in MO.
-Visit our Website to learn more about the death penalty in Missouri.
-Visit our secure online donation page to support MADP’s work.