One day after federal death row inmate Dustin John Higgs tested positive for coronavirus, a second person on death row was diagnosed with the illness. Cory Johnson is housed at the same facility as Higgs and is set to be put to death on Jan. 14th, one day before Higgs. Johnson’s lawyers have asked for that date to be delayed due to his illness, just as Higgs’ lawyers did on Thursday. Johnson was convicted of killing seven people in Richmond, Virginia in 1992.
There are three federal executions currently scheduled for January before President-elect Biden takes office: Johnson, Higgs, and Lisa Montgomery. Montgomery is the only female inmate currently on federal death row. Her execution has already been delayed once after her lawyers got COVID in November. Bureau of Prison officials told the Associated Press that more than 300 prisoners at the facility are currently positive for the coronavirus. Some of those infected are reportedly asymptomatic.