On Monday, a federal judge decided to use bogus and irrelevant reasoning to halt the execution of a vicious killer and, with it, all federal executions. This is the latest example of members of the judiciary not interpreting law but indulging their ideological whims from the bench.
In a 22-page order, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan criticized the government for allegedly trying to rush through the process by setting short execution dates that did not allow several inmates to fully litigate their appeals. This is even though death row inmates have a mandatory appeals process that runs over several years.
The decision comes hours before Daniel Lewis Lee was set to die by lethal injection at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. https://t.co/fTD2eL85om
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 13, 2020
The ruling solves nothing and is likely to bring another round of quick appeals from the government to allow the executions to proceed.
“[B]ecause the public is not served by short-circuiting legitimate judicial process, and is greatly served by attempting to ensure that the most serious punishment is imposed in a manner consistent with our Constitution, the court finds that it is in the public interest to issue a preliminary injunction,” Chutkan wrote in her ruling.
Daniel Lee, who was condemned to “death for the 1996 killings of a gun dealer, the dealer’s wife and their 8-year-old daughter in Arkansas, was scheduled to be executed Monday at 4 p.m. in the first federal execution in nearly two decades. A federal appeals court on Sunday ruled that the execution could proceed,” per a Fox News report. This overturned a lower court order that had delayed the execution over coronavirus concerns. Yes, the virus has been politicized to this absurd extent.
“Victims’ families had argued that they should be able to be present for the execution but cited close quarters and concerns regarding the location and its personnel—a Bureau of Prisons staff member involved in preparing for the execution tested positive for the coronavirus,” explained Fox News. A judge thus caters to audience concerns.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press that he believes the Bureau of Prisons could “carry out these executions without being at risk.” The prison has implemented other safeguards such as requirements to wear masks and temperature checks. This, at an execution. It would he horrible for someone to get hurt, at an execution.
“The succession of last-minute rulings is the result of the Government’s decision to set short execution dates even as many claims, including those addressed here, were pending,” the judge who stopped justice wrote. “The Government is entitled to choose dates, but the court cannot take short cuts in its obligations in order to accommodate those dates. As the Seventh Circuit wrote last week, ‘just because the death penalty is involved is no reason to take shortcuts—indeed, it is a reason not to do so.'”
The government will immediately appeal, and may be overturned again, and they will appeal, and may be overturned another time, and the lives of the victims of the murderers will be completely forgotten in the bureaucratic and legal merry-go-round.