Judge Halts Federal Execution Over Mental Competence Concerns
Lawyers for Wesley Ira Purkey argue he no longer has rational understanding due to Alzheimer's disease.
A judge has halted a federal execution because of concerns that the inmate is suffering from dementia.
Wesley Ira Purkey was set to be put to death Wednesday, but a U.S. district judge imposed two injunctions to stop it just hours ahead of the scheduled time.
It was the second federal execution scheduled after almost two decades. On Tuesday, the U.S. government carried out the execution of Daniel Lewis Lee after a Supreme Court ruling allowed it to take place.
Purkey has progressive dementia, schizophrenia and severe mental illness. U.S. district judge Tanya Chutkan didn't make a judgement on whether he is "competent" for execution, but said the court needs to evaluate that before he can be killed.
Purkey is convicted of a 1998 kidnapping and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Kansas City. He was deemed mentally fit to stand trial for the death penalty in 2003, but now his lawyers argue he no longer has rational understanding due to Alzheimer's disease.
The Justice Department has appealed the injunctions.
Additional reporting by Michael Balsamo and Michael Tarm of the Associated Press.
WATCH LIVE - The funeral of Tyre Nichols
Scripps News streams the funeral of Tyre Nichols live from Memphis, Tennessee.By Nichols family / AP
WNBA Star Brittney Griner Freed In U.S.-Russia Prisoner Swap
Brittney Griner's arrest in February made her the most high-profile American jailed abroad.By Russian Federal Security Service via AP
Indiana Police Arrest Man In 2017 Killings Of 2 Teen Girls
The bodies of Libby and Abby were found in a rugged area near a hiking trail on Feb. 14, 2017, one day after they vanished while hiking on a trail.By J. Kyle Keener / The Pharos-Tribune / AP
Man arrested in connection to Dallas Zoo monkey thefts
24-year-old Davion Irvin was booked into the Dallas County jail Thursday and charged with six counts of animal cruelty, police said.By Dallas Zoo
New USPS Love stamp designs are out—and they’re so sweet
These Love stamps are part of USPS’s larger mission to make postal service more meaningful, personal and special for their customers.By USPS
Banana Boat expands sunscreen recall due to carcinogen
The sunscreen was distributed nationwide and sold at various retailers and online.By FDA