U.S. sets September execution dates for two federal inmates
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Friday announced September execution dates for two inmates, in what could be the sixth and seventh federal executions this summer after a 17-year hiatus.
William LeCroy, convicted of killing 30-year-old nurse Joann Tiesler in Georgia in 2001, would be executed on Sept. 22, the department said in a statement.
It said Christopher Vialva, found guilty of murdering youth ministers Todd and Stacie Bagley in Texas in 1999, was scheduled to be executed on Sept. 24.
The executions will take place at the U.S. prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, the statement said.
Abraham Bonowitz, director of Death Penalty Action, a death penalty abolition group, accused President Donald Trump’s administration of using the executions for political purposes.
“The reason President Trump has scheduled these executions are his ego and his re-election campaign, not to advance justice or help victims,” Bonowitz said.
The U.S. government carried out its first execution in 17 years on July 14, putting to death convicted murderer Daniel Lee by lethal injection at the federal execution chamber in Terre Haute.
Wesley Purkey was executed on July 16, and Dustin Honken was put to death a day later. Both were convicted of murder.
Two other inmates are scheduled for execution in late August.
From 2003 to this year, protracted litigation over the drugs historically used in lethal injection executions prevented the government from carrying out the practice, according to Justice Department officials.
(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Leslie Adler and Aurora Ellis)
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