Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a fiery dissent on Friday night when the Supreme Court allowed Dustin Higgs become the Trump’s administration’s thirteenth federal execution—outdoing the number from the last 60 years. She slammed the rushed nature with which the court made a decision on Higgs and others, saying there shouldn’t be “justice on the fly” when it comes to matters as grave as a human’s life. “Very few of these decisions offered any public explanation for their rationale. This is not justice,” she wrote.
Higgs’ lawyers argued that lung damage he had suffered as a result of having COVID-19 would make his execution unjustly painful. But ultimately, the conservative-leaning Supreme Court disagreed. “[T]he Court has allowed the United States to execute thirteen people in six months under a statutory scheme and regulatory protocol that have received inadequate scrutiny, without resolving the serious claims the condemned individuals raised,” she wrote. “Those whom the Government executed during this endeavor deserved more from this Court. I respectfully dissent.”