Orlando Hall was executed just before midnight Thursday after the Supreme Court allowed the Justice Department to move forward with his lethal injection, the Washington Post reports. Hall’s scheduled execution for 6 p.m. in Terre Haute, In., was delayed by last minute legal filings that sought to halt his killing. Hall, 49, became the eighth person executed by the U.S. government since the Trump administration pushed to resume federal executions after a 17-year hiatus. DOJ has carried out more lethal injections in the past four months than the federal government executed over the previous three decades. President-elect Joe Biden will work to eliminate capital punishment at the federal level.
The Supreme Court order overturned a district judge’s order that temporarily blocked Hall’s execution. Hall was convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering 16-year-old Lisa Rene in Arkansas in 1994. A second death-row inmate, Brandon Bernard, is set to be executed on Dec. 10. Bernard was convicted of killing two youth ministers on a military reservation in 1999. A federal judge on Thursday postponed until at least Dec. 31 the execution of a third death-row inmate, Lisa Montgomery, who would be the first woman put to death by the federal government in nearly 70 years. U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss said Montgomery’s lawyers, who became infected with coronavirus after visiting Montgomery in prison, should have time to recover to prepare her clemency application. She was convicted in 2007 of strangling a woman who was eight months pregnant and kidnapping the baby, who survived the attack. If all three inmates are executed before the end of Trump’s term, there will be 52 prisoners remaining on federal death row.