July 15, 2020 / 9:44 AM / 24 days ago

U.S. judge delays second federal execution in 17 years

July 15 (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court in Washington early on Wednesday delayed the second federal execution in 17 years, hours before it was due to take place.

The U.S. Department of Justice had planned to execute Wesley Purkey, a convicted murderer, over objections by his lawyers that he has dementia and no longer understands his punishment.

“The court finds that at least one of plaintiffs’ claims has a likelihood of success on the merits, and that absent a preliminary injunction, plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm,” District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan said.

Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet

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