The US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an emergency request to the Supreme Court on Monday in an attempt to resume federal executions .
The emergency request is the DOJ’s latest attempt to vacate an injunction, issued by US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan a few weeks ago, which imposed an immediate stay on the execution of federal death row inmates Alfred Bourgeois, Dustin Lee Honken, Daniel Lewis Lee and Wesley Ira Purkey.
Following Chutkan’s order, the DOJ filed a motion in the US Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to vacate the injunction. The appeals court denied the DOJ’s motion Monday, finding that the request did not satisfy the requirements for a stay on the injunction.
Then just a few hours after the appeals court’s refusal to set aside the injunction, the DOJ filed an emergency request to the US Supreme Court, asking the court to review the appeals court decision.
The DOJ argued in its request that the lower court’s decision to block the executions should be set aside because the inmates’ position that the new protocol was unlawful and unconstitutional “wholly lacks merit, and the purely procedural violation they seek to avoid is likely illusory and at most harmless.”