lethal injection

The Justice Department has executed Dustin Lee Honken in Terre Haute, Ind., the third federal inmate put to death by the government this week.

Honken, 52, was sentenced to die in October 2005 after being convicted of numerous offenses, including five counts of murder — among them two small children — during the course of a continuing criminal enterprise.

A coroner pronounced him dead by lethal injection at 4:36 p.m. ET Friday.

At the time of his death, Honken had served more than 22 years in an Indiana prison.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

The United States has executed Wesley Purkey in its second federal execution this week after a 17-year hiatus. Purkey, 68, was executed via lethal injection on Thursday morning in Terre Haute, Ind.

The Supreme Court early Thursday denied appeals to stay Purkey's execution, clearing the way for it to proceed.

Purkey, who was on death row at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, was convicted of the 1998 kidnapping and killing of 16-year-old Jennifer Long.

Updated at 11:36 a.m. ET

The Justice Department has put to death Daniel Lee, 47, marking the first federal execution since 2003, after a chaotic overnight series of court rulings.

Lee had been convicted of killing three people, including a child, as part of a broader racketeering scheme to fund a white supremacist cause. He had waited more than 20 years on federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind.

Updated at 12:30 pm ET

A federal judge in Washington has blocked federal executions scheduled for this week, citing concerns that the lethal injection protocol involved is "very likely to cause extreme pain and needless suffering."

Judge Tanya Chutkan said the last-minute ruling only hours before executions were set to resume for the first time in 17 years was "unfortunate," but she blamed the Justice Department for racing ahead before legal challenges had been fully aired.

Capital punishment is on the decline in the United States, with only 13 new death sentences and seven executions so far this year.

But the U.S. Justice Department is moving in the other direction. Authorities are preparing the death chamber in Terre Haute, Ind., for the first federal executions in 17 years, starting Monday.

Death row inmates, their spiritual advisers and even one set of victims' relatives are moving to the courts to try to stop or delay the process. They're using a novel argument: the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 11:31 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the federal death penalty method, allowing the executions of four men scheduled in the coming weeks to go forward. They would be the first uses of the death penalty in federal cases since 2003.

The court's order was posted Monday. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor indicated that they would have considered the case.

After nearly two decades, the federal government will once again begin executing criminals, the Justice Department announced Monday. Four inmates convicted of murdering children are set to be put to death by lethal injection.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about lawmakers attaching strings to a new round of executive powers to the governor, legislative leaders announce a budget deal and Republicans push through a bill requiring notarization of absentee ballots.

OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled against death row prisoners who complained the state gave them incomplete rules for how it would carry out executions in the future.

The prisoners’ attorneys said when the state released new execution protocols, it was supposed to share details on new training for execution teams. The plaintiffs also complained the state hadn’t shared details on a potential new execution method.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Attorneys for a group of Oklahoma death row prisoners say the state hasn’t finished its revisions to a plan for carrying out executions, as required by a 2015 legal agreement that suspended capital punishment in the state.

Their challenge will be considered at a federal court hearing on Tuesday.

The argument is the latest in a roughly six-year lawsuit challenging the way Oklahoma executes people.

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