Federal Judge Deals Blow To Trump Agenda

Via The Washington Free Beacon:

A federal judge on Wednesday night temporarily halted the Trump administration’s plans to execute four federal inmates.

U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan ruled that at least one of the four was likely to succeed on the merits of his challenge to the federal execution protocol previously proposed by the Department of Justice. She temporarily halted the scheduled executions of Daniel Lewis Lee, Wesley Ira Purkey, Alfred Bourgeois, and Dustin Lee Honken, NPR reports.

The problem, Chutkan said, was that the department may have run afoul of the 1994 Federal Death Penalty Act (FDPA), which requires federal executions to use the same protocol for execution laid out in the state—in this case, Indiana—where the execution is to take place.

In July, Attorney General William Barr initiated the return of the federal death penalty by proposing an execution protocol that required the use of a single drug, pentobarbital. But Indiana state law requires the use of a three-drug “cocktail”: Brevitol, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride.