U.S. Executes Dustin Higgs in 13th and Final Execution Under Trump Administration

This 2015 photo provided by Shawn Nolan Chief, Capital Habeas Unit Community Federal Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, shows Dustin Higgs at the Federal Prison in Terre Haute, Ind. (Federal Bureau of Prisons/Community Federal Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania via AP)

The U.S. government has executed Dustin Higgs, the last prisoner to be executed during the Trump administration, and the 13th in the span of six months.

The Supreme Court declined to stop the execution, although some justices dissented, noting that before the first of the 13, it had been 17 years since a federal execution had been carried out.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor called it an “unprecedented rush,” saying that “after waiting almost two decades to resume federal executions, the Government should have proceeded with some measure of restraint to ensure it did so lawfully.”

Higgs, along with two other men, killed three women in 1996. Willis Haynes actually pulled the trigger. Haynes pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Higgs was found guilty in 2000 of multiple federal offenses including first-degree premeditated murder, three counts of first-degree felony murder, and three counts of kidnapping resulting in death.

The killings took place in the Patuxent Research Refuge, which is near Laurel, Md., but considered federal land, thus giving the federal government jurisdiction. Higgs was executed at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind., and was pronounced dead at 1:23 a.m., according to The Associated Press.

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