Dustin Higgs ' final words before execution of death row inmate
Higgs, who maintained that he was innocent, has become the 13th federal inmate to be executed under Donald Trump's presidency.
, who faces criticism for ending a 17-year hiatus on the federal death penalty.Forty-eight-year-old Higgs was pronounced dead at 1.23 a.m. on Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana, following a lethal injection of pentobarbital for the killings of three women in a Maryland wildlife refuge more than two decades ago.
"First, I'd like to state I am an innocent man," he said in his final words, before naming the three victims,"I am not responsible for their deaths and I did not order the murders," he added, Indiana newspaper TheTribune-StarPetition to Halt Dustin Higgs' Execution Amasses Over 1.5M Signatures
Read moreA federal jury in Maryland had convicted Higgs in October 2000 of first-degree murder and kidnapping in the killings of Tamika Black, aged 19, Mishann Chinn, 23, and Tanji Jackson, 21.The jury heard how Higgs, Willis Mark Haynes, and a third man, Victor Gloria, had picked up the women on January 27 1996 and drove them to Higgs's apartment in Laurel, Maryland. headtopics.com
Following an altercation between Higgs and Jackson, the men chased the women after they left the apartment and persuaded them to get into a vehicle belonging to Higgs, who drove them to the Patuxent national wildlife refuge, the court heard. Gloria testified that Higgs had handed his pistol to Haynes, who shot all three women.
Haynes, was sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting the victims, while Higgs was prosecuted for giving the order for the killings.In a plea for clemency, Higgs's lawyers had argued that it was"arbitrary and inequitable" that Higgs was punished more severely than the man who pulled the trigger, given that it was"undisputed" that Higgs"did not kill anyone."
In the petition to commute his sentence of death and/or grant a 90-day reprieve, his lawyers said that Higgs'"demonstrated record of positive adjustment makes him particularly well-suited to peacefully live out the remainder of his life in custody."Read more: Newsweek »
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We need to abolish the death penalty