Attorney General William Barr on Monday ordered the executions of four federal inmates convicted of murdering and, in two cases, raping children.
"The four murderers whose executions are scheduled today have received full and fair proceedings under our Constitution and laws," Barr said. "We owe it to the victims of these horrific crimes, and to the families left behind, to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system."
The last federal execution took place on March 17, 2003, when Louis Jones was executed by lethal injection for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a female soldier.
Although a district court tried to prevent BOP from carrying out the executions, the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the injunction, allowing Barr to schedule the dates of execution.
The inmates scheduled for lethal injection:
- Daniel Lewis Lee: murdered a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl. He has been on death row since 1999 and is scheduled to be executed on July 13.
- Wesley Ira Purkey: raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl and murdered an 80-year-old woman. He will be put to death on July 15.
- Dustin Lee Honken: shot and killed five people, including a mother and her 10- and 6-year-old daughters. His execution is set for July 17.
- Keith Dwayne Nelson: kidnapped, raped, and strangled a 10-year-old girl. His death is set for August 28.