The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit voted 2-1 Tuesday to lift the injunction against President Donald Trump’s plan to resume federal executions. The split decision comes with three opinions with each justice writing an opinion articulating why they believe the injunction was valid or invalid.
Judges Rao and Katsas agreed that the injunction should be overturned. They found that the plaintiffs’ claim under the Federal Death Penalty Act (FDPA) involving “the requirement to implement federal executions in the manner provided by state law” should be rejected.
Rao rejected the claim on the ground that “the FDPA also requires the federal government to follow execution procedures set forth in state statutes and regulations, but not execution procedures set forth in less formal state execution protocols”.
On the other hand, Katsas found that “that the FDPA regulates only the top-line choice among execution methods, such as the choice to use lethal injection instead of hanging or electrocution.”
The ruling opens the door for the federal government to carry out its first execution since 2003.