4 ex­e­cu­tions are up­held

New York Daily News - - NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON — The Supreme Court on Mon­day re­fused to block the ex­e­cu­tion of four fed­eral prison in­mates who are sched­uled to be put to death in July and Au­gust.

The ex­e­cu­tions would mark the first use of the death penalty on the fed­eral level since 2003.

The jus­tices re­jected an ap­peal from four in­mates who were con­victed of killing chil­dren. Jus­tices Ruth Bader Gins­burg and So­nia So­tomayor noted that they would have blocked the ex­e­cu­tions from go­ing for­ward.

The court’s ac­tion leaves no ob­sta­cles stand­ing in the way of the ex­e­cu­tions, the first of which is sched­uled for July 13.

The in­mates are separately ask­ing a fed­eral judge in Wash­ing­ton to im­pose a new de­lay on their ex­e­cu­tions over other le­gal is­sues that have yet to be re­solved.

The in­mates sched­uled for ex­e­cu­tion are: Danny Lee, who was con­victed in Arkansas of killing a fam­ily of three, in­clud­ing an 8-year-old; Wes­ley Ira Purkey, of Kansas, who raped and mur­dered a 16year-old girl and killed an 80-year-old woman; Dustin Lee Honken, who killed five peo­ple in Iowa, in­clud­ing two chil­dren; and Keith Dwayne Nel­son, who kid­napped a 10-year-old girl who was rollerblad­ing in front of her Kansas home and raped her in a for­est be­hind a church be­fore stran­gling the young girl with a wire.

Three of the ex­e­cu­tions — for Lee, Purkley and Honken — are sched­uled days apart be­gin­ning July 13. Nel­son’s ex­e­cu­tion is sched­uled for Aug. 28. The Jus­tice Depart­ment said ad­di­tional ex­e­cu­tions will be set at a later date.

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