WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to execute in December two federal inmates convicted of murder, one woman and one man, the Justice Department said on Friday.
It said Lisa Montgomery, who fatally strangled a pregnant woman in 2004, would be executed on Dec. 8 and Brandon Bernard, who with his accomplices murdered two youth ministers in 1999, would be executed on Dec. 10.
Both executions would be carried out by lethal injection at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana.
The two executions will be the eighth and ninth the federal government has carried out in 2020.
The Trump administration ended an informal 17-year-hiatus in federal executions in July, after announcing last year that the Bureau of Prisons was switching to a new single-drug protocol for lethal injections, from a three-drug combination it last used in 2003.
The new protocol revived long-running legal challenges to lethal injections. In August, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ruled that the Justice Department was violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in not seeking a doctor’s prescription to administer the highly regulated barbiturate.
But an appeals court held that the violation did not in itself amount to “irreparable harm” and allowed federal executions to proceed. Several state governments also use pentobarbital injections in executions.
(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham and Brendan O’Brien; Editing by Sandra Maler)