US judge delays executions of two men on federal death row with COVID-19


(NewsNation Now) — A U.S. judge ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to delay the executions of two condemned murderers until at least March 16 in order to allow them to recover from COVID-19.

The two inmates, Cory Johnson and Dustin Higgs, had been scheduled to be executed on Thursday and Friday at the Justice Department’s execution chamber in its prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The plaintiffs argued the injection of a lethal dose of pentobarbital, given their COVID-19 infections, “will cause them to suffer an excruciating death” due to the damage to their lungs and other organs from the virus.

The judge concluded, “that absent a preliminary injunction, Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm,” and delayed the executions until at least March 16.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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