Dustin Higgs, is yet another death row inmate that will be executed by the outgoing Trump’s administration, after he was executed in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The execution of Dustin Higgs, now brings the total number of inmate executed by the Trump-led administration from 2019 to date to 13.
He had been convicted of kidnapping and murdering three women in 1996.
Dustin Higgs maintained his innocence until his death, according to a pool report.
The tone of his voice was calm but defiant as he said his last words, “I’d like to say I am an innocent man,” he said, mentioning the three women by name. “I did not order the murders,” the report said.
Higgs’ victims were Tamika Black, 19; Tanji Jackson, 21; and Mishann Chinn, 23.
Higgs’ execution went forward despite his attorney, Shawn Nolan’s appeal to delay the proceeding because of Higgs’ Covid-19 diagnosis. Nolan also argued that Higgs was unfairly sentenced, since the actual gunman is serving a life sentence.
Higgs’ execution was initially scheduled for the 92nd birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
King’s oldest son, Martin Luther King III, wrote an op-ed on Thursday in The Washington Post calling for the end to executions by invoking his father’s words from 1957 when asked if God approves of the death penalty. “I do not think that God approves the death penalty for any crime … capital punishment is against the better judgment of modern criminology and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God,”
In January 1996, Dustin Higgs and two friends drove to Washington, DC, to pick up Black, Jackson, and Chinn, whom Higgs had invited to his apartment in Laurel, Maryland, according to a Department of Justice statement.
At the apartment, Jackson rebuffed an advance by Higgs and the women left. Higgs offered the women a ride back to DC, but instead drove to a secluded area in the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, the statement added.
He ordered the women out of the vehicle, gave a gun to one of the friends, and said, “better make sure they’re dead.” The other man shot Black and Jackson in the chest and back, and shot Chinn in the back of the head, killing all three women, the statement said.
In 2000, a Maryland jury found Higgs guilty of numerous federal offenses, including three counts of first-degree premeditated murder, three counts of first-degree felony murder, and three counts of kidnapping resulting in death, and unanimously recommended nine death sentences, which the court imposed, the statement said.