Bill Barr hits a roadblock in his attempt to carry out executions of federal prisoners
William Barr appears on CBS (screen grab)

On Monday, a federal district judge in Washington, D.C. put a temporary hold on Attorney General William Barr's upcoming executions of federal prisoners, ruling that the outstanding legal challenges must be litigated in court before they can move forward.


The first of these executions was scheduled to take place this week, of Wesley Ira Purkey, who had been convicted of raping, murdering, and dismembering a teenage girl. Another execution that had been scheduled for today, of convicted white supremacist murderer David Lewis Lee, had already been postponed.

No federal prisoner has been executed since 2003. President Donald Trump's Justice Department lifted the hiatus and is planning to move forward with several executions.