U.S. To Continue Executions Through Transition In Break

The Justice Department is proceeding with plans for more federal executions in the closing days of President Trump's administration, including two scheduled shortly before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Attorney General William Barr announced the moves, connected with what he called "staggeringly brutal murders," in a statement late Friday. The Justice Department said the directives amounted to a continuation of its policy since last year when it relaunched federal executions after an informal moratorium that had been in place for 17 years. If the Justice Department plan moves forward, 13 people will have faced death by lethal injection during the Trump administration. Legal experts who follow capital punishment said that would be the most since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served 12 years in office before his death in 1945. RELATED |  U.S.: Barr's Justice Department Prepares To End Trump's Term With an Execution Spree Robert Du

USA | 3 new federal execution dates set

Executions Scheduled for Inmates Convicted of Brutal Murders Many Years Ago 

Attorney General William P. Barr today directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the executions of 3 federal-death row inmates sentenced to death for staggeringly brutal murders, including the murder of a child and, with respect to 2 inmates, the murder of multiple victims.

Alfred Bourgeois abused, tortured, and beat to death his young daughter. After a paternity test identified Bourgeois as the father of a 2 1/2-year-old girl and a court ordered that he pay child support to the mother, Bourgeois took temporary custody of his daughter and brought her with him on a trucking route.  While on the trip, Bourgeois systematically abused and tortured her — including by punching her in the face, whipping her with an electrical cord, and burning the bottom of her foot with a cigarette lighter. In July 2002, Bourgeois arrived at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station for a delivery. While backing his truck up to a loading dock, his daughter tipped over her training potty. Bourgeois became enraged and repeatedly slammed the back of her head into the truck’s window and dashboard, killing her. On March 16, 2004, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas found Bourgeois guilty of murder within the special territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and unanimously recommended a death sentence, which the court imposed.  His conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal, and his requests for collateral relief were ultimately rejected by federal courts. In July 2019, his execution was scheduled for Jan. 13, 2020, but legal impediments prevented the government from proceeding at that time. Bourgeois is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Dec. 11, 2020, at the Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute, Indiana.

Cory Johnson murdered 7 people — Peyton Johnson, Louis Johnson, Bobby Long, Dorothy Armstrong, Anthony Carter, Linwood Chiles, and Curtis Thorne — in furtherance of his drug-trafficking activities. Between 1989 and July 1992, Johnson and several co-conspirators, including federal death-row inmates Richard Tipton and James Roane, were partners in a large drug-trafficking conspiracy based in Richmond, Virginia.  In early 1992, Johnson went on a killing spree, shooting and killing each of the 7 victims for perceived slights or rivalry in the drug trade. Johnson shot 1 victim at close range after ordering him to place his head on a car steering wheel. Johnson shot and killed another victim at the victim’s home when he failed to pay for crack cocaine — and Johnson also murdered the victim’s sister and a male acquaintance. In February 1993, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found Johnson guilty of numerous federal offenses, including 7 counts of capital murder, and unanimously recommended 7 death sentences, which the court imposed. Johnson’s convictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal more than 24 years ago, and his initial round of collateral challenges failed 15 years ago. Johnson’s execution initially was scheduled to occur in May 2006, but a preliminary injunction prevented the government from proceeding until it was vacated this September. Johnson is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Jan. 14, 2021, at the Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute, Indiana. 

Dustin John Higgs kidnapped and murdered 3 women — Tamika Black, 19; Tanji Jackson, 21; and Mishann Chinn, 23.  One evening in January 1996, Higgs and 2 friends drove to Washington, D.C., to pick up Black, Jackson, and Chinn, whom Higgs had invited to his apartment in Laurel, Maryland. At the apartment, Jackson rebuffed an advance by Higgs and the women left. Higgs offered the women a ride back to Washington, D.C., but instead drove to a secluded area in the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, 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 3 women. On Oct.11, 2000, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland found Higgs guilty of numerous federal offenses, including 3 counts of 1st-degree premeditated murder, 3 counts of 1st-degree felony murder, and three counts of kidnapping resulting in death, and unanimously recommended 9 death sentences, which the court imposed. Higgs’ convictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal nearly 17 years ago, and his initial round of collateral challenges failed nearly 8 years ago. Higgs is scheduled to be executed on Jan. 15, 2021.

Source: justice.gov, Staff, November 20, 2020

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