A US court in Washington last-minute blocked the execution of the first executions by the Trump administration.
It concerns four murderers who have been sentenced to death by a national (federal) court. It would have been the first federal executions since 2003.
The first execution was scheduled for later Monday, two others later this week and one next month. But the judge believes that more time is needed to handle complaints against the lethal injections. The executions have been postponed until further notice from the court.
Recently, the Supreme Court had cleared the way for the U.S. government to have capital punishments again. The court rejected the four killers’ criticisms of the protocols for administering a lethal injection.
After a seventeen-year hiatus, President Trump and the Justice Department want to step up their strict justice policies with the resumption of the death penalty.
Federal executions are rare. The only three since 1963 were in the years 2001 to 2003, including the execution of the offender of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Timothy McVeigh.
Some of the U.S. states have continued to carry out executions of individuals sentenced to death in their own courts, such as Texas, in recent years. The death penalty has been abolished in over twenty states.