Federal death row prisoner files challenge to January execution

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A lawyer for one of the five men the Trump Administration announced it plans to execute in December and January is challenging the legality of executing his client, Alfred Bourgeois, in two separate lawsuits.

Reuters reports that Alexander Kursman got the go-ahead on Thursday to add his federal lawsuit challenging the DOJ’s lethal injection procedures to a larger lawsuit already filed by a group of other federal death row prisoners. In addition, Kursman today filed a second lawsuit in federal court in Indiana (where the federal death row is located), seeking a stay based on Bourgeois’ intellectual disability. 

According to Reuters, another lawyer for Bourgeios, Victor Abreu, stated that, “The jury that sentenced Mr. Bourgeois to death never learned that he was intellectually disabled,” and added that his client’s disability was never scientifically evaluated. 

Bourgeois is scheduled to be executed January 13 for the 2004 murder of his 2-1/2 year old daughter in Texas.

Attorney General William Barr announced the federal government planned to execute five prisoners in a five-week period beginning in December. If DOJ is allowed to proceed, it will be the first time the federal government has executed a prisoner in 16 years. 

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