The Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a Trump administration plan to resume federal execution.
Per Mercury News, Attorney General William Barr announced during the summer that federal executions would resume using a single drug, pentobarbital, to put inmates to death.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., temporarily halted the executions after some of the chosen inmates challenged the new execution procedures in court.Chutkan ruled that the procedure approved by Barr likely violates the Federal Death Penalty Act.
Chutkan was appointed by ex-President Obama.
Fox News reports the Supreme Court on Friday blocked the Trump administration from resuming federal executions in an attempt to put to death four convicted murderers. The executions were slated to begin next week.
The justices upheld a lower court ruling imposed last month after inmates claimed executions by lethal injection would violate federal law.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., had imposed a temporary injunction on executions, saying they would conflict with federal law. That ruling was upheld Monday by a three-judge federal appeals court.
Attorney General William Barr announced in July that the federal government would resume executions after a 16-year break, using a single drug — pentobarbital — to put inmates to death. A legal battle has drawn out over that time over the drugs used for lethal injections.
Federal executions were all but halted after the government found it difficult to obtain the three-drug cocktail needed for such injections.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said the legal battle would continue.
“While we are disappointed with the ruling, we will argue the case on its merits in the D.C. Circuit and, if necessary, the Supreme Court,” she said in a statement.
In a two-page statement, three justices — Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch — wrote they expected the Trump administration to prevail in court.
“The Court has expressed the hope that the Court of Appeals will proceed with ‘appropriate dispatch,’ and I see no reason why the Court of Appeals should not be able to decide this case, one way or the other, within the next 60 days,” Alito said.