INDIANAPOLIS and BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The United States was set to execute federal death row inmates for the first time in 17 years starting this week, until a federal judge stopped the first one from being carried out to allow for further legal challenges. Attorney General William Barr last year directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to adopt new execution protocols allowing for the use of a single lethal-injection drug, pentobarbital. The first execution was set to take place July 13 at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, where one staffer tested positive for COVID-19. Indiana University experts are available to comment on the executions, the death penalty and lethal injection.

Jody Madeira joined the IU Maurer School of Law faculty in 2007. Her scholarly interests involve empirical research; the role of emotion in law; the sociology of law; law, medicine and bioethics; and the Second Amendment. She is principal investigator on a grant to design and implement S.U.N., a multimedia web portal integrating educational videos and a mobile health tracking application for college students that addresses alcohol, marijuana, opioid and stimulant use disorders.

Fran Watson's years in legal practice included work as a deputy state public defender at the trial and appellate levels and representation of the police department and elected officials as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Indianapolis/Marion County. She also is a founding member of the board of the IUPUI Forensic Science Initiative and an elected member of the American Academy of Forensic Science. After teaching in Criminal Defense Clinic at the law school, Watson left academia to serve as the first chief public defender of the Marion County Public Defender's Agency.

Teresa Zimmers is a molecular biologist with research interests in organ growth regulation, inflammation, and the systemic response to injury and cancer. Her work has implicated myostatin/GDF11/Activin/SMADs, Interleukin-6/STAT3, hedgehog and other secreted proteins in regulation of muscle and fat wasting. She seeks to identify mediators and mechanisms of cachexia in order to treat it so that patients live longer and better.