The thirteenth and last federal execution during the reign of President Donald Trump was carried out early on Saturday morning.
48-year-old Dustin Higgs was given a lethal injection in the prison of Terre Haute (Indiana) and was declared dead at 01.23 a.m. (local time, 07:23 a.m.) by the US Federal Prison Office.
That happened five hours after the Supreme Court rejected a request for postponement. Trump also rejected a request for mercy. Elected President Joe Biden is an opponent of the death penalty.
“ The government accomplished its unrivaled slaughter of thirteen people by killing Dustin Higgs, a black man who never killed anyone, on Martin Luther King‘s birthday,” said his lawyer Shawn Nolan in a statement.
In January 1996, Higgs, together with two friends, invited three young women to his apartment at Washington. Because one of the women rejected his advances, he suggested bringing the women back home. Instead, he stopped in a secluded place. According to the prosecutors, Higgs then gave one of his friends a gun and ordered them to shoot the women.
In 2001, Higgs was sentenced to death for kidnapping and murder. The friend who fired the shots, however, got life imprisonment. The lawyers of Higgs argued in vain that the distinction in penalty entitlement was grounds for leniency.
According to a witness at the execution on behalf of the media, Higgs mentioned in his closing speech the names of the three women, Tanji Jackson, Tamika Black and Mishann Chinn, and declared to be innocent. “I would like to say that I am an innocent man,” he said. “I didn’t order the murders.”