Dustin Higgs, The Final Trump Death Row Inmate, Dies Maintaining His Innocence
The Trump administration ascending to the White House instantly became a historical first due to the president’s lack of political experience prior to taking the top position, but none of us could have predicted what we were actually in store for. Of the many generally unpopular decisions made by the camp, federal executions resumed after seventeen years without a single one. Dustin Higgs became the last person to be executed under the Trump administration on Saturday morning at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.
The 48-year-old father was convicted back in 1996 in connection with the 1996 kidnapping and murder of three young women in Maryland: Tamika Black, Misahann Chinn, and Tanji Jackson. He was pronounced dead at 1:23 am, marking him the 13th federal prisoner put to death under Trump, and the third this week. Even into the final days of his life, Higgs and his defense team maintained his innocence and argued his execution could violate federal regulations, which the Supreme Court disagreed with, allowing the execution to move forward Friday night.
“After seventeen years without a single federal execution, the Government has executed twelve people since July,” nothing that under Trump, more prisoners have been executed since the summer than in the past 57 years combined.
“Today, Dustin Higgs will become the thirteenth,” she continued. “To put that in historical context, the Federal Government will have executed more than three times as many people in the last six months than it had in the previous six decades.”
At the time of Higgs 1996 arrest, investigators accused him of pressuring his accomplice Willis Haynes to shoot the three women following a testimony given by a third associate Victor Gloria in exchange for a lighter conviction for himself, though his previous statements were inconsistent.
His prosecution came in the wake of the 1994 Crime Bill enacted under Bill Clinton and drafted by president-elect Joe Biden, which caused federal prosecutors to search for defendants that could be given the death penalty. He passed away after being able to see his cousin, Alexa Cave Wingate.