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US executes fifth federal prisoner this year after 17-year hiatus | USA News



A Kansas girl’s killer became the fifth federal inmate put to death this year in the United States on Friday in an execution that went forward after a high court tossed a ruling that would have required the government to get a prescription for the drug used to kill him.

Questions about whether the drug pentobarbital causes pain prior to death had been a focus of appeals for Keith Nelson, 45, the second inmate executed this week in the resumption of federal executions by the administration of President Donald Trump after a 17-year hiatus.

Nelson, who displayed no outward signs of pain or distress during the execution, was pronounced dead at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, at 4:32pm (20:32 GMT – about nine minutes after the execution began.

There was silence from Nelson when a prison official looming over him asked if he had any last words to witnesses behind the execution-chamber glass. Those observers included the mother of 10-year-old Pamela Butler, who Nelson raped and strangled with a wire 21 years ago.

Nelson, whose face was obscured behind a medical mask, stayed still even as the lethal dose of pentobarbital was delivered.

Protestors gather across from the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana as Keith Dwayne Nelson, who was convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering at 10-year-old Kansas girl, was executed Friday [Michael Conroy/AP Photo]

The relative stillness and quiet stood in contrast to the scene on October 12, 1999, as Nelson grabbed Pamela off the street and threw her into his truck. As Pamela screamed, one of her sisters who saw her abducted began screaming, too.

Pamela had been returning to her Kansas City, Kansas, home on inline skates after buying cookies. As Nelson drove off with her, he made a rude gesture to her sister as she screamed. He later raped the fifth-grader and strangled her with a wire.

Pamela’s mother, Cherri West, said she did not expect Nelson to express remorse. She said, if anything, she thought he might curse at her and her family as he had done during criminal proceedings.

“I wasn’t expecting him to say anything because he never had no remorse,” West said.

“I have no remorse for him,” she said.

Nelson’s spiritual adviser, Sister Barbara Battista, stood inside the chamber as Nelson was executed, wearing a mask and with her hands folded. She said she talked to Nelson during the week and that he sounded subdued but not frightened.

Sister Barbara Battista

Sister Barbara Battista was present as Nelson was executed [Michael Conroy/AP Photo]

“His parting words were … ‘I don’t want to see you on Friday, but I probably will,'” Battista said in an interview before the execution.

“He would rather be alive after Friday. But he is facing the reality,” she said.

Nelson’s attorneys, Dale Baich and Jen Moreno, said in a statement on Friday that they had come to know him as someone other than a killer, that they “saw his humanity, his compassion, and his sense of humour”.

“The execution of Keith Nelson did not make the world a safer place,” they said.

A flurry of filings by Nelson’s legal team over several weeks zeroed in on pentobarbital, which depresses the central nervous system and, in high doses, eventually stops the heart.

In one filing in early August, Nelson’s attorneys cited an unofficial autopsy on one inmate executed last month, William Purkey, saying it indicated evidence of pulmonary edema in which the lungs fill with fluid and this causes a painful sensation akin to drowning.

US government lawyers have defended the use of pentobarbital, disputing that Purkey’s autopsy proved he suffered. They have cited Supreme Court ruling precedent that an execution method is not necessarily cruel and unusual just because it causes some pain.

US prison Terre Haute

The execution took place after an appellate panel tossed out a lower court’s ruling that would have required the government to get a drug prescription before it could use pentobarbital to kill the inmate [Michael Conroy/AP Photo]

In her overturned ruling, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan had halted Nelson’s execution early on Thursday, saying laws regulating drugs require prescriptions, even for executions. Within hours, an appellate panel tossed out her ruling.

With the execution Wednesday of Lezmond Mitchell – the only Native American on federal death row – the federal government under Trump registered more executions in 2020 than it had in the previous 56 years combined.

The executions of Nelson and Mitchell were carried out the same week as the Republican National Convention, where many Trump supporters sought to portray him as a law-and-order candidate.

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?



The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail



Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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