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Dustin Higgs 13th And Final Federal Prisoner Executed Under Donald Trump

Dustin Higgs 13th And Final Federal Prisoner Executed Under Donald Trump

He maintained his innocence until death

Jake Massey

Jake Massey

Death row inmate Dustin Higgs has become the 13th and final prisoner to be federally executed under Donald Trump's presidency.

Higgs was sentenced to death in 2000 for the 1996 pre-meditated murder and kidnap of Tanji Jackson, Tamika Black and Mishann Chinn. However, Higgs did not actually kill the victims, with shooter Willis Haynes sentenced to life in prison.

In his final statement, Higgs maintained his innocence.

He said: "I'd like to say I am an innocent man. I did not order the murders."

Higgs maintained his innocence.

He died by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, at 01.23am local time (6.23am GMT) on Saturday (16 January).

Trump's administration resumed federal executions in July and he has since become the most prolific execution president in more than a century.

Higgs' lawyers had pled with Trump to commute his sentence to life in prison, arguing it was 'arbitrary and inequitable to punish Mr Higgs more severely than the actual killer'.

A final bid to halt his execution failed at the US Supreme Court on Friday, by a majority of six votes to three.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent: "This is not justice. After waiting almost two decades to resume federal executions, the Government should have proceeded with some measure of restraint to ensure it did so lawfully. When it did not, this Court should have. It has not."

Listing the names of all 13 executed since July, she added: "To put that in historical context, the Federal Government will have executed more than three times as many people in the last six months that it had in the previous six decades."

Since his presidential election defeat, Trump has flouted the custom of ceasing executions during a political transition, making him the first lame-duck president to carry out federal executions in more than a century.

Trump has pressed forward with executions following his election loss.

On Thursday (14 January), Corey Johnson was executed after a long legal battle.

Jonson was convicted of killing seven people in connection with a drug-trafficking ring in 1992.

He was executed by lethal injection after the Supreme Court denied a last-gasp effort to overturn the execution on the grounds of the 52-year-old's Covid-19 diagnosis and intellectual disability.

In his final statement, Johnson said: "I would have said I was sorry before, but I didn't know how. I hope you will find peace.

"To my family, I have always loved you, and your love has made me real. On the streets, I was looking for shortcuts, I had some good role models, I was side tracking, I was blind and stupid.

"I am not the same man that I was."

It came after the only woman on federal death row in the US, Lisa Montgomery, was executed on Wednesday (13 January).

Featured Image Credit: Federal Bureau of Prisons

Topics: US News, crime, Donald Trump