Washington | An american court suspended Friday a federal execution scheduled for Monday and that would have been the first in 17 years, at the request of relatives of the victims of the convicted person, concerned for their health in these times of coronavirus.
The department of Justice has filed an appeal a few hours after this decision. The remedy can go up to the supreme Court of the United States.
The government of Donald Trump is scheduled to run Monday Daniel Lee, a white supremacist convicted in 1999 of the death penalty for the murder of a couple and a little girl of eight years.
But relatives of his victims, including the grandmother of the little girl, Earlene Peterson, 81 years of age, had referred to the justice this week to postpone the expiry.
Citing their vulnerability to the new coronavirus, the complainants have explained to be an impossible choice between their right to attend the last moments of the condemned and the concerns for their health in the event of a rally.
“The government has a legitimate interest in seeing that the execution is carried out swiftly “, but that will be after the interest of treating relatives of the victims “with fairness, respect and dignity,” decided the judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, a federal court in Indiana.
“The family hopes that the federal government will support them by not appeal this ruling,” said their lawyer, Baker Kurrus, in a news release. “We hope the government to act finally in a way that soothes the pain of Ms. Peterson and her family rather than weigh it down “, he added.
Mrs. Peterson, an opponent of the death penalty, has repeatedly called on the president Donald Trump to show “leniency” towards Daniel Lee pretending not to want it to be executed.
Saying “act on behalf of the public and families,” the republican administration has scheduled four executions of federal this summer.
In the United States, most crimes are tried at the state level, but the federal justice department can get a handle on of the most serious acts (terrorist attacks, hate crimes, etc.) or committed on military bases, across several States or in indian reservations.
Over the past 45 years, only three people have been executed at the federal level, including Timothy McVeigh responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing (168 dead in 1995) in 2001. The last federal execution dates back to 2003.