Judge halts execution amid claims inmate isn’t mentally fit

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A U.S. judge has halted the execution of a federal death row inmate whose lawyers argue suffers from dementia. Wesley Ira Purkey was slated to be the second inmate executed by the government after a nearly 20-year hiatus ended this week. But a judge in Washington, D.C., imposed two injunctions Wednesday. The Justice Department is appealing in both cases. Purkey’s lawyers say he can no longer grasp why he’s slated to die. Purkey, of Lansing, Kansas, was convicted of the 1998 killing of a girl in Kansas City, Missouri, and was scheduled for execution at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. Another man, Daniel Lewis Lee, was put to death there Tuesday.