The US federal government's attempt to resume executions following a 1
Several candidates for the nomination of the Democratic president called for the abolition of the death penalty.
On Thursday, Attorney General William Barr said five inmates would be executed.
They have been convicted of murder or rape of children or the elderly, he said.
The executions are scheduled for December 2019 and January 2020.
"Under the administration of both parties, the Ministry of Justice has applied for the death penalty for the worst criminals," said a statement by Barr. "The Department of Justice upholds the rule of law – and we owe it to the victims and their families to continue the punishment imposed by our justice system."
Mr. Barr's announcement overrides an informal moratorium on the federal death penalty. Contrary to state-directed executions – since the execution of Louis Jones Jr. in 2003, a 53-year-old Gulf War veteran who murdered 19-year-old soldier Tracie Joy McBride.
What was the reaction?
Robert Dunham of the Death Penalty Information Center said the decision was not surprising.
"President Trump was a staunch supporter of the death penalty and proposed several extreme uses, including the sale of drugs and all murders involving state and local police officers," he said.
"So it was no surprise that he was aiming for executions – I think the biggest surprise is that it took so long."
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said the fact that the executions were so close raises "serious questions about fairness for each case".
"We Need Time to Examine and Review Cases There is simply absolutely no basis for summarizing and advancing cases in this way," said Cassy Stubbs of the group.
Democrat Kamala Harris described the death penalty as "immoral and profoundly flawed," while Bernie Sanders said he would abolish it if elected.
Another candidate for the nomination of Democratic President, Pete Buttigieg, said that "race and geography" were factors in determining who was sentenced to death.
Who plans the US government to be executed?
Daniel Lewis Lee, a white Supremacist convicted in Arkansas of murdering a family of three; Lezmond Mitchell, an Indian sentenced in Arizona for murdering a grandmother and her granddaughter; Wesley Ira Purkey, who raped and murdered a young girl; Alfred Bourgeois, who sexually harassed and killed his little daughter; and Dustin Lee Honken, who shot five people.
Mr. Barr is to allow the law enforcement authorities to use the only drug pentobarbital instead of a three-drug procedure that was previously used in federal executions. The drug is a powerful sedative that slows the body, including the nervous system, to the point of death.
The five planned executions would take place in the US jail in Terre Haute, Indiana, and additional executions would take place. At a later date, the Department of Justice announced.
When do federal courts impose death sentences?
According to the US judiciary, crimes can be heard either at federal courts – at the national level – or at state courts at the regional level. Certain nationwide criminal offenses, such as counterfeiting or post theft, are automatically convicted at the federal level, while others are convicted in federal courts for the severity of the crimes.
The death penalty was banned at the federal and federal levels by a Supreme Court ruling in 1972 that abolished all existing death penalty laws. A 1976 Supreme Court ruling reintroduced the death penalty for a number of states, and in 1988 the government passed a law that restored capital punishment at the federal level.
According to information from the Capital Death Penalty Center, 78 people were sentenced to death in federal cases between 1988 and 2018, but only three have been executed since. At present, 62 inmates are on death row.
These include Dylann Roof, who murdered nine people in a Charleston church in 2015, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted of bombing the 2013 Boston Marathon.
For more than a decade and a half, the federal death penalty was largely an afterthought. Although there was no official moratorium on the procedure, as has been the case in some states where the opposition to executions has increased, this was a combination of administrative inertia, lengthy appeals procedures, practical obstacles and the relatively small number of death row candidates Executions are de facto stopped.
Trump's government now wants to change that, although a shortage of drugs used for lethal injections remains a significant barrier.
The President has expressed a tough attitude towards convicted criminals The past claims that they are treated too gently and have too many opportunities to appeal against their sentences.
While the majority of Americans still claim to endorse the death penalty in certain cases, opinion polls suggest that the American public is opposed to the death penalty, with particular attention being paid to allegations that are often unfairly imposed.
That Suggests Although the announcement by the Trump administration will provoke sharp criticism from activists, it is unlikely to lead to significant political waves.
The death penalty in the US
- The death penalty is a legal punishment in 29 US states
- since 1976 In Texas, most executions were carried out (561), followed by Virginia (113) and Oklahoma (112).
- There are 2,673 inmates on death row in the United States.
- California has the most death row prisoners. – 733 – has only carried out 13 executions since 1976
- The annual number of death sentences fell by 85% between 1998 and 2018 – from 295 to 43
Source: Information Center for Death Penalty