Updated: Jan 24
On Saturday, January 16, the 13th and final federal execution of the Trump administration took place just days before the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden, who promised to to end capital punishment at the federal level. This execution marks the third this week, and since resuming federal executions last year, Trump has overseen more federal executions than any other president in over a century. Additionally, no federal executions have been carried out during a presidential transition since the 1800s at the end of Grover Cleveland’s presidency.
Following Higgs’ execution, the ACLU issued a statement calling upon Biden to take action towards abolishing the death penalty when he is sworn in, stating, “He must commute the sentences of people on the federal death row to life without parole, and he must drop death from all pending trials.”
Dustin Higgs, 48, who was convicted in 2001 for his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of three women, was pronounced dead at 1:23 a.m. EST Saturday morning. William Haynes, his accomplice, who confessed to shooting and killing the women, received a sentence of life in prison in a separate trial.
Higgs maintained his claim to innocence until the end, naming the three women and stating, “I’d like to say I am an innocent man. […] I am not responsible for the deaths.”
The sister of one of the victims said in a statement, “When the day is over, your death will not bring my sister and the other victims back [...] This is not closure, this is the consequence of your actions.”