However Mr. Higgs was sentenced to demise, a punishment that his attorneys argued was “arbitrary and inequitable” in contrast with that of the person who shot the gun. His protection crew pointed to a declaration that Mr. Haynes signed years after the crime through which he claimed that Mr. Higgs didn’t threaten him nor make him do something. Mr. Haynes claimed he shot the ladies as a result of he feared for Mr. Higgs’s life.
In an announcement offered by the Bureau of Prisons, the sister of Ms. Jackson, one in all Mr. Higgs’s victims, mentioned that the information of Mr. Higgs’s execution date introduced “blended feelings.” His household is now going by way of the identical ache hers skilled, she added.
“On one hand, I felt we have been lastly going to get justice, however on the opposite, I felt unhappy for your loved ones,” she mentioned. “When the day is over, your demise won’t convey my sister and the opposite victims again. This isn’t closure, that is the consequence of your actions.”
Mr. Trump was not receptive to pleas for leniency for Mr. Higgs or for any of the 12 inmates who have been executed earlier than him. The Supreme Court docket — which now has three Trump appointees, solidifying its conservative majority — additionally denied his requests for reprieve. Shortly earlier than Mr. Higgs’s execution, the justices had vacated a keep from the Fourth Circuit that quickly blocked the federal government.
Every of the court docket’s extra liberal justices indicated that they disagreed. Justice Stephen G. Breyer listed questions that the current federal demise penalty instances have raised, amongst them, “To what extent does the federal government’s use of pentobarbital for executions danger excessive ache and pointless struggling?” and, “Has an inmate demonstrated a ample probability that she is mentally incompetent — to the purpose the place she won’t perceive the actual fact, which means, or significance of her execution?”
“None of those authorized questions is frivolous,” he wrote. “What are courts to do when confronted with authorized questions of this type? Are they merely to disregard them? Or are they, as on this case, to ‘hurry up, hurry up’? That’s no answer.”
However the longer the delay, he argued, the weaker the “fundamental penological justifications” and the larger the psychological struggling for the prisoner. As he has carried out earlier than, Justice Breyer referred to as into query the constitutionality of the demise penalty itself.