Barr v. Lee

PER CURIAM. The application for stay or vacatur presented to THE CHIEF JUSTICE and by him referred to the Court is granted. The District Court’s July 13, 2020 order granting a preliminary injunction is vacated. The plaintiffs in this case are all federal prisoners who have been sentenced to death for murdering children. The plaintiffs committed their crimes decades ago and have long exhausted all avenues for direct and collateral review. The first of their executions was scheduled to take place this afternoon, with others to follow this week and next month. To carry out these sentences, the Federal Government plans to use a single drug—pentobarbital sodium—that “is widely conceded to be able to render a person fully insensate” and “does not carry the risks” of pain that some have associated with other lethal injection protocols. Zagorski v. Parker, 586 U. S. ___, ___ (2018) (Sotomayor, J., dissenting from denial of application for stay and denial of certiorari) (slip op., at 2). Hours before the first execution was set to take place, the District Court preliminarily enjoined all four executions on the ground that the use of pentobarbital likely constitutes cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.Barr v. Lee