Justice Tanya Chutkan’s injunction in Washington, DC, applies to three other death row inmates: Wesley Ira Purkey, Dustin Lee Honken and Keith Dwayne Nelson.
On Monday evening, the United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the Department of Justice’s request to stay the injunction. The Department of Justice also appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.
Three other appeals to delay execution are also pending before the Supreme Court. One concerns the families of Lee’s victims who are worried about traveling and going to federal prison during the coronavirus pandemic. A second concerns the evidence presented by prosecutors during his sentencing hearing.
Lee’s execution has long been expected to be the time when the federal government resumed realizing the plight of death row inmates after a series of court decisions in recent months.
In December, the Supreme Court confirmed a lower court preventing the execution of the death penalty last year. But an appeals court decided in April that the executions could go ahead, and Attorney General William Barr set new dates for Lee and three other men in June. Since then, the men’s lawyers have made several efforts to delay the executions, including the trial which was filed this week by the families of Lee’s victims.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.