Trump administration oversees unprecedented number of executions

The federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind, where Dustin Higgs was executed on Friday
The federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind, where Dustin Higgs was executed on Friday Copyright AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File
Copyright AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File
By Euronews with AP
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The outgoing US president has overseen 13 federal executions since July, more than any president for 120 years.


Donald Trump’s administration carried out its 13th killing of an inmate on death row on Friday, just days before the inauguration of Joe Biden, who is an opponent of the federal death penalty.

The executions were resumed last year, and no president in more than 120 years has overseen as many as Trump.

Dustin Higgs, 48, was convicted in the killings of three women in a Maryland wildlife refuge in 1996.

He was the third person to receive a lethal injection this week at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The number of federal death sentences carried out under Trump since 2020 is more than in the previous 56 years combined, reducing the number of prisoners on federal death row by nearly a quarter.

It’s likely none of the around 50 remaining men will be executed anytime soon, with Biden signaling he’ll end federal executions.

The only woman on death row, Lisa Montgomery, was executed on Wednesday for killing a pregnant woman, then cutting the baby out of her womb and claiming it as her own.

She was the first woman executed in nearly 70 years.

Federal executions began as the coronavirus pandemic raged through prisons nationwide.

Among those prisoners who got COVID-19 last month were Higgs and former drug trafficker Corey Johnson, who was executed on Thursday.

Some members of the execution teams have also previously tested positive for the virus.

It is the first time the US government has executed federal inmates during a presidential transition period since the late 1800s, during the presidency of Grover Cleveland.

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