Final execution of Trump presidency is carried out

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Dustin Higgs, an inmate on death row in Indiana, has died in the final federal execution of the Trump presidency just days before he leaves office.

Higgs was convicted in the killings of three women in a wildlife refuge in 1996, but until his death denied ordering their murder.

He died by lethal injection at 01:23 local time (06:23 GMT) on Saturday.

His execution is the 13th carried out since July when the US government ended a 17-year hiatus on federal executions.

It comes just days before President-elect Joe Biden, who is against the death penalty, is sworn in.

There has been criticism of the Trump administration’s rush to carry out the sentences – breaking with an 130-year-old precedent of pausing executions during a presidential transition.

Higgs was convicted and sentenced to death in 2001 for overseeing the 1996 kidnapping and murder of three women: Tanji Jackson, Tamika Black and Mishann Chinn.

The women had been on a date with Higgs and two other men at an apartment before one rebuffed his advances and an argument broke out between the group. Higgs and accomplice Willis Haynes offered to drive them home but instead took them to a wildlife refuge in Maryland, where prosecutors said Higgs gave Haynes a gun and told him to shoot the three women.

Haynes, who confessed to being the shooter, was sentenced to life in prison in a separate trial.

Main Photo: A sign points to the Federal Correctional Complex, where the federal execution chamber is located, in Terre Haute, Indiana, USA. EPA-EFE/TANNEN MAURY

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