A federal appeals court in Washington has upheld a ruling blocking the Trump administration’s plan to resume federal executions after a 16-year hiatus.
The decision was handed down Monday by the D.C. Circuit. The Justice Department had asked the court to block the injunction put in place by a district court judge that stalled the executions of four convicted murderers, Reuters reported.
Attorney General William Barr speaks with members of the press in Montana last month. (AP)
Attorney General William Barr said in July the federal government would resume capital punishment and scheduled the executions of five death-row inmates for December and January, ending an unofficial decade-long moratorium on federal executions.
Barr said the DOJ owed it to the victims’ families to carry out the law and would be willing to take the issue to the Supreme Court if necessary.
A judge temporarily halted the executions after some of the chosen inmates challenged the new execution procedures. The inmates argued that the government was circumventing proper methods in order to wrongly execute inmates quickly.
A federal execution has not taken place since 2003. In the last 16 years, a protracted legal battle has drawn out over the drugs used in lethal injections.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.