Appeals court upholds order blocking federal executions

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FILE – In this Nov. 22, 2019, file photo, Attorney General William Barr speaks with members of the press before participating in a law enforcement roundtable at the Flathead County Sheriff’s Posse in Evergreen, Mont. An appeals court is upholding a ruling that blocked the federal government’s plan to restart federal executions next week after a 16-year hiatus. The order was handed down Monday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Justice Department asked the court to vacate or stay an injunction put in place by a district court judge. Attorney General William Barr has said he would take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An appeals court is upholding a ruling that blocked the federal government’s plan to restart federal executions next week after a 16-year hiatus.

The order was handed down Monday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The Justice Department asked the court to block the injunction put in place by a district court judge. Attorney General William Barr has said he would take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Barr scheduled the executions of five death-row inmates for December and January. That ended an unofficial decade-long moratorium on federal executions.

A judge temporarily halted the executions after some of the chosen inmates challenged the new execution procedures. The inmates argue the government was circumventing proper methods in order to wrongly execute inmates quickly.

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This story has been corrected to show the appeals court ruling upheld the lower court’s decision that temporarily blocks executions.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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