Nelson, 45, was declared dead at 4:32 p.m. in the U.S. Department of Justice’s execution chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana, after being injected with lethal doses of pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate, the department said.
The administration of President Donald Trump, a vocal supporter of capital punishment for serious crimes, has now carried out more federal executions than took place in the preceding 57 years. Nelson was convicted of raping and murdering 10-year-old Pamela Butler in Kansas in 1999.
Chutkan spoke with lawyers representing Nelson and the Justice Department in a telephone conference on Friday as she considered a request by Nelson’s lawyers to revise her order or issue a new one blocking Friday’s execution.
Chutkan denied that request less than 90 minutes before Nelson’s scheduled execution time, writing that he had not “convincingly” shown irreparable injury.
He is now the fourth of those plaintiffs to have since been executed by the Justice Department after the US Supreme Court swiftly dismissed earlier injunctions issued by Chutkan delaying the executions to allow the litigation to proceed.
He was declared dead at 4:32 p.m. local time in the U.S. Department of Justice’s execution chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana, after being injected with lethal doses of pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate.