Dustin Higgs was executed on Friday, marking the 13th person to be executed under the Trump administration.
The 48-year-old maintained his innocence about his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and murder of three women in 2000.
The tone of his voice was calm but defiant as he said his last words, “I’d like to say I am an innocent man,” he said, mentioning the three women by name. “I did not order the murders,” the report said. Higgs’ victims were Tamika Black, 19; Tanji Jackson, 21; and Mishann Chinn, 23. Higgs’ execution went forward despite his attorney, Shawn Nolan’s appeal to delay the proceeding because of Higgs’ Covid-19 diagnosis. Nolan also argued that Higgs was unfairly sentenced, since the actual gunman is serving a life sentence. Higgs’ execution was initially scheduled for the 92nd birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dustin Higgs is the last person to be executed under Trump’s administration, less than a week before he leaves office. The Associated Press reports that he has overseen more executions than any other President in 120 years.
“The Federal Government will have executed more than three times as many people in the last six months than it had in the previous six decades,” Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor pointed out.
The Trump administration even executed the first woman in US history in 70 years, Lisa Montgomery.
“The Court has allowed the United States to execute thirteen people in six months under a statutory scheme and regulatory protocol that have received inadequate scrutiny, without resolving the serious claims the condemned individuals raised,” Sotomayor wrote in her dissent against Higgs’ execution on Friday. “Those whom the Government executed during this endeavor deserved more from this Court.’