Episode 6: Dustin Higgs and the Fate of Federal Executions
UPDATE: Since the recording of this episode of Red Flags, Dustin Higgs was executed on January 16, 2021 after two decades on federal death row.
Dustin Higgs has been on federal death row for two decades for the murder of three young women, but the man who shot all three is serving a life sentence. Higgs is scheduled to be executed on January 15th. On January 12th, a federal judge halted his execution due to his COVID-19 diagnoses, but experts say he's not out of the woods yet. The Trump administration has carried out 11 executions of federal death row inmates in its final months - three during its lame duck period, which hasn’t happened in over 130 years. Dustin Higgs and Cory Johnson are scheduled for execution before President-Elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20th. Karina speaks to Higgs’ lawyer, Shawn Nolan, before and after the stay was issued, and we hear about the mad dash for clemency in the final days before Friday, January 15th. We also hear from Robert Dunham, the Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center, who notes, “you can’t take race out of the death penalty.”
Death Penalty Info Center Sept. 2020 Report: Enduring Injustice: The Persistence of Racial Discrimination in the U.S. Death Penalty
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