The death penalty raises human rights criticism in the United States

In its final days, the government of US President Donald Trump carried out the death sentence for a man infected with the Coronavirus, in the second execution in a week for the Trump administration.

The US government executed Corey Johnson, an intellectually disabled killer with Covid-19 disease, late on Thursday.

Johnson, 52, was found guilty of killing seven people in Virginia in 1992. Witnesses said they heard relatives of the victims clapping and cheering from a viewing room in the death hall of prison in Terra Haute, Indiana after the execution of the sentence was announced at 11:34 pm.

Johnson’s execution came hours after the scheduled time after the US Supreme Court rejected a petition from his lawyer, who said that he suffers from severe intellectual disability, which prevents him from being executed by law.

On Wednesday morning, the US government executed Lisa Montgomery, convicted of murder, the only woman who was awaiting execution by a federal court, after the Supreme Court removed the last obstacle to execution.

Montgomery’s execution marked the first time that the US government carried out a death sentence against a female prisoner since 1953, “Reuters” reported.

Johnson’s execution is the twelfth execution during Trump’s rule, who resumed this punishment last year after it was suspended for 17 years, and in the midst of the Corona pandemic that affected death row inmates, at least two of their lawyers, other prisoners, members of the death squad and prison guards.

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to seek to abolish the death penalty after taking office next Wednesday.

The Supreme Court also refused to ratify a lower court order delaying the execution of Johnson and another convict, Dustin Higgs, who is due to be executed Friday until they recover from the Covid-19 disease they contracted in December.

Tania Chotkan, a judge of the US District Court, issued an order Tuesday to postpone the execution of the death sentences until at least March 16, until the convicts recover, in support of the opinion of health experts who said that their execution will expose them to great pain due to their lungs being damaged by infection with the Coronavirus.

The defendants ’lawyers stated that the implementation of the ruling violated the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits” cruel and unusual “punishments.


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