Protesters gather at Terre Haute federal prison ahead of upcoming executions

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– U.S. Attorney General William Barr ordered four federal executions to take place at the federal prison in Terre Haute starting July 13.

Sister Barbara Battista, Justice Promoter for the Sisters of Providence, said the timing of the executions is wrong.

“Adding violence on top of violence, in the middle of this pandemic is totally unconscionable. And we stand here to say we don’t want anyone killed in our name. We don’t want to continue to practice this heinous practice,” she said.

Two lawsuits were filed on behalf of two of the inmates, Wesley Purkey and Daniel Lewis Lee, due to coronavirus.

Abraham Bonowitz, Co-Director for Death Penalty Action, said they believe the executions are unjust and it will put all those involved in danger.

“They’re going to go into the prisons where we know COVID-19 is a problem. They’re going to spread it around there and take it out. We know that there are hot spots all over the country and bring all of this to Terre Haute, mix it up spread it around and take it all the way back out to where everybody is coming from when they go back to those places,” he said.

Community leaders plan to hold a series of demonstrations leading up to and during the executions.

Sylvester Edwards, President of the Terre Haute NAACP, said their mission isn’t to free any of the inmates.

“We’re not trying to free anybody because the jury has spoken. But we can save these individuals. And we can save them to show the humanity that all of us have,” Edwards said.

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