In a last-ditch effort to remain alive, Dustin Higgs, a federal demise row prisoner set to be put to demise subsequent month as a part of the Trump administration’s flurry of executions in its last days in workplace, has petitioned the president for clemency.
In his petition, Higgs factors out that it’s past dispute that he didn’t kill anybody himself. The precise killer within the murders of three ladies on 27 January 1996, Willis Haynes, was tried individually and sentenced to life in jail with out parole.
Higgs, who even the state accepts didn’t pull the set off, was sentenced to demise on the disputed idea that he ordered Haynes to hold out the shootings. His attorneys argue that the principle proof towards him at trial got here from a doubtful witness who was a cooperating co-defendant and who obtained a “substantial deal” as a way to implicate Higgs.
“A federal demise verdict shouldn’t relaxation on such a flimsy foundation,” the attorneys write within the clemency submitting, labelling as “arbitrary and inequitable” the choice that Higgs ought to obtain a demise sentence whereas the person who pulled the set off received life.
Higgs is scheduled to die by deadly injection on the federal jail complicated in Terre Haute, Indiana, on 15 January. Ought to all executions set for the ultimate days of Donald Trump’s time in workplace go forward, three prisoners will die over simply 4 days.
Lisa Montgomery, the one lady on federal demise row, is scheduled to be killed on 12 January. Corey Johnson is about to observe her into the demise chamber two days later.
The scramble to execute federal inmates follows Trump’s resolution to restart federal executions for the primary time since 2003. The US authorities has put to demise 10 prisoners this yr, greater than all of the states mixed, a primary in US historical past.
The push to kill has provoked a name from 40 Democrats in Congress for Joe Biden to abolish the federal demise penalty when he takes workplace on 20 January – 5 days after Higgs is scheduled to die.
It was introduced final week that each Higgs and Johnson have the coronavirus. The inmates are pleading in separate authorized proceedings for a delay of their executions on grounds that they’re battling the sickness and are unable to make last efforts to spare themselves.
“Not solely will Mr Higgs’s remaining time be marred by sickness, however he can be severely restricted from visiting along with his attorneys and relations with out danger of creating them significantly in poor health,” the condemned man’s clemency petition says.
Higgs was convicted within the murders of three ladies, Tanji Jackson, Tamika Black and Mishann Chinn. He was discovered responsible of first-degree premeditated homicide and kidnapping. By the state’s personal case, Haynes was the one who used the homicide weapon to shoot the three ladies in a wildlife refuge the place they have been taken in a van.