Local justice advocates and Vigo Co. law enforcement react to resumed executions

Federal Executions

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– On Monday, the U.S. Justice Department announced that federal executions will resume starting in July.

Four convicted inmates are scheduled to be executed by lethal injection.

Daniel Lewis Lee, Wesley Ira Purkey, Dustin Lee Honken and Keith Dwayne Nelson will be executed at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, IN.

Sister Barbara Battista, Justice Promoter for Sisters of Providence, said she and others are working on methods to delay the executions. \

“We are definitely on the move, organizing and speaking to the lawyers. We’re working to have a united front in our efforts to stop this horrendous plan,” Battista said.

Battista believes the decision is unnecessary.

“As a nation we’re still suffering the effects of the untimely deaths of so many of our residents because of the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. It seems to be such an insensitive move,” she said.

All four of the inmates are convicted of killing children and in two of those cases, sexually assaulting those children.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said:

“The four murderers whose executions are scheduled today have received full and fair proceedings under our constitution and laws. 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.”

Vigo Co. law enforcemnt agencies anticipate a series of demonstrations to take place before and during the scheduled executions.

“We always like to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. But we’ll have adequate law enforcement around if there are large crowds for that. But we’ll make sure it’s a peaceful event,” said Vigo Co. Sheriff, John Plasse.

Three out of the four inmates are scheduled to be executed in July and one in late August.

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