The Trump administration’s execution of Dustin Higgs, explained

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In the early hours of Saturday morning, the Trump administration executed Dustin Higgs for taking part in a triple murder in Maryland in 1996, a crime of which he claimed to be innocent, including with his final words.

Higgs’ execution marked the the 13th, and final, federal execution carried out by the Trump administration over the course of six months, a run which has broken starkly with modern precedent both in terms of speed and intensity: The administration has carried out more federal executions since last summer than presidents have in the last 67 years combined.

The Trump administration has argued that the executions were conducted as a matter of law, noting that all of those executed were found guilty at trial. “If you ask juries to impose and juries impose it, then it should be carried out,” former Trump administration attorney general Bill Barr, told the

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