__ U.S. __, 19A615, Barr v. Roane

Docket Nº:19A615
Citation:__ U.S. __, 140 S.Ct. 353
Party Name:William P. BARR, Attorney General, et al. v. James H. ROANE, Jr., et al.
Judge Panel:Statement of Justice ALITO, with whom Justice GORSUCH and Justice KAVANAUGH join, respecting the denial of stay or vacatur.
Case Date:December 06, 2019
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page __

__ U.S. __

140 S.Ct. 353

William P. BARR, Attorney General, et al.

v.

James H. ROANE, Jr., et al.

No. 19A615

United States Supreme Court

December 6, 2019

OPINION

The application for stay or vacatur presented to THE CHIEF JUSTICE and by him referred to the Court is denied. We expect that the Court of Appeals will render its decision with appropriate dispatch.

Statement of Justice ALITO, with whom Justice GORSUCH and Justice KAVANAUGH join, respecting the denial of stay or vacatur.

The District Court for the District of Columbia has preliminarily enjoined the Federal Government from carrying out the execution of four prisoners who were convicted in federal court more than 15 years ago for exceptionally heinous murders. In this action, none of the four is contesting his guilt or his sentence, but the District Court enjoined the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) from carrying out these executions based on its interpretation of a statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3596(a), directing that federal executions be implemented "in the manner prescribed by the law of the State in which the sentence is imposed." This means, the Government contends, that the mode of execution (i .

e ., by lethal injection, electrocution, etc.) must be the same as that called for under the law of the State in question, but the District Court held instead that a federal execution must follow all the procedures that would be used in an execution in that State— down to the selection of the way a catheter is inserted.

The Government has shown that it is very likely to prevail when this question is ultimately decided. The centerpiece of the District Courts reasoning was that Congress referred to the "manner" and not the "method" of execution, but there is strong evidence that this reading is not supported either by the ordinary meaning of these two terms or by the use of the term "manner" in prior federal death penalty statutes. Moreover, the District Courts interpretation would lead to results that Congress is unlikely to have intended. It would require the BOP to follow procedures that have been attacked as less safe than the ones the BOP has devised (after extensive...

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