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SCOTUS Denies Stays For Four Federal Death Row Prisoners

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

June 29th, 2020

The Supreme Court of the United States has denied stays for four men on federal death row issuing an order that allows for the protocol set forth for lethal injections to move forward. Despite serious concerns in each case, the court has scheduled executions for Daniel Lee, Wesley Purkey, and Dustin Honken in rapid succession on July 13, 15, and 17, with the execution of Keith Nelson to follow on August 28.

While this is certainly a blow to the abolition community, this doesn’t mean any of the executions will go forward. MADP will be working with attorneys and the national movement to highlight the serious problems in each case and actions we can take around the stories of each case. 

Calls to Action and ways to stop the Federal Resumption of Executions!

1. Sign the Petitions –

We are directing our opposition to the federal death penalty to the U.S. Congress (sign the congress petition here) and to President Trump (sign the Trump petition here). If you are a faith leader or member of the clergy, please sign our petition that is in alignment with national death penalty abolition groups.

2. Participate in Death Penalty Actions Fast and Vigil. From June 29th-July 2nd, Death Penalty Action will host it’s Annual Fast & Vigil. The schedule will have 16 panel discussions on numerous related topics featuring leaders in our movement who are experts and voices of experience on the issue. These events are free of charge and can be viewed online. You do not need to have a Facebook account to view these videos.

3. Start planning a solidarity action/vigil where you live – In addition to the prison vigil in Terre Haute, Indiana, people are encouraged to hold vigils and protests outside federal buildings around the country. If you are planning to, or are interested in, holding an event in your area please let us know at

4. Engage on social media – share posts related to the Resumption of Federal Executions on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Make sure to tag #MADP #FederalResumption to showcase support in ending federal executions.

5. Educate yourself about the federal death penalty – The federal death penalty applies in all 50 states and U.S. territories but is used relatively rarely. About 60 prisoners are on the federal death row, most of whom are imprisoned in Terre Haute, Indiana. Three federal executions have been carried out in the modern era, all by lethal injection, with the last occurring in 2003. Learn more about the federal death penalty at

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