KS AG joins movement to proceed with scheduled inmate executions

The Justice Department says it will carry out executions of federal death row inmates for the first time since 2003. (MGN)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt told the U.S. Supreme Court that scheduled executions of five federal death row inmates should proceed.

All five inmates have exhausted all of their possible appeals, but their executions have been blocked by a lower federal court due to a change in lethal injections protocol. The former three-drug procedure was replaced by a single injection, which the court found to exceed the Federal Bureau of Prison's authority.

The Justice Dept. and 13 state attorneys general, Schmidt among them, have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. They argue the single-dose protocol has been successful in other states, and the victims and governments deserve finality in the related cases.

One of the five inmates scheduled for execution is from Kansas. 67-year-old Wesley Ira Purkey, of Lansing, was convicted of the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a 16-year-old Missouri girl in 2003. He also pleaded guilty to the murder of an 80-year-old woman.

The whole brief, filed Tuesday, can be seen here.