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Supreme Court Allows Second Federal Execution In A Week To Proceed

REUTERS/Al Drago

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The U.S. carried out its second federal execution in less than a week Thursday morning after the Supreme Court lifted a series of injunctions preventing the execution.

Wesley Ira Purkey was lethally injected at 8:19 a.m. at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, the Associated Press reported.

Purkey was convicted and sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and killing 16-year-old Jennifer Long before throwing her ashes in a septic pond in 1998. Purkey was also sentenced to life imprisonment for killing an 80-year-old woman with polio.

The Supreme Court lifted the hold and two further injunctions Thursday, the Hill reported. The Department of Justice had asked the court to remove the bans Wednesday.

The court was split 5-4 on the decision with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Bayer dissenting, the Hill reported. Ginsburg was released from the hospital Wednesday after a possible infection. (Related: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Discharged From Hospital)


“I deeply regret the pain and suffering I caused to Jennifer’s family,” Purkey said.

“I am deeply sorry. I deeply regret the pain I caused to my daughter, who I love so very much. This sanitized murder really does not serve no purpose whatsoever,” Purkey said.

“Although the Government and the family members of the victim have a legitimate interest in punishing the guilty, that interest must be measured against Purkey’s and the public’s interest in ensuring that such punishment comports with the Constitution,” Sotomayor wrote, according to the Hill.

“At the same time, proceeding with Purkey’s execution now, despite the grave questions and factual findings regarding his mental competency, casts a shroud of constitutional doubt over the most irrevocable of injuries,” Sotomayor continued.

The U.S. executed Daniel Lewis Lee Tuesday, making Lewis’ federal execution the first in 17 years. The Supreme Court lifted a ban on executing Dustin Honkin Friday and for August, according to the AP.

The Department of Justice did not respond immediately to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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