A press release from the Department of Justice reveals that Attorney General William Barr is reinstating the death penalty after a two decade laps in punishment.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Barr has reinstated the death penalty as a possible result of serious crimes prosecuted by the federal government. This comes after two decades of the policy being removed from federal sentencing guidelines.
From the Department of Justice press release:
“Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people’s representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the President,” Attorney General Barr said. “Under Administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals, including these five murderers, each of whom was convicted by a jury of his peers after a full and fair proceeding. The Justice Department upholds the rule of law—and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”
The Federal Execution Protocol Addendum, which closely mirrors protocols utilized by several states, including currently Georgia, Missouri, and Texas, replaces the three-drug procedure previously used in federal executions with a single drug—pentobarbital. Since 2010, 14 states have used pentobarbital in over 200 executions, and federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have repeatedly upheld the use of pentobarbital in executions as consistent with the Eighth Amendment.
The press release also notes that five individuals are already set to be executed under the new guidelines. These include a member of a white supremacist group who murdered three people, a man who murdered an elderly grandmother and forced her granddaughter to sit beside the lifeless corpse for several hours, a man who violently raped, murdered, and then dismembered a 16-year-old girl, a man who tortured and executed his toddler age daughter, and a man who shot and killed five people, including two who planned to testify against him.
While some consider the death penalty to be always inappropriate, it is largely seen as a deterrent to committing egregious, violent crimes.
President Trump Announces Planned Ban on Chinese-Owned TikTok App
The app has serious spying concerns.
President Donald Trump announced that he’s preparing to ban the video app TikTok on national security grounds on Friday, citing the concerns over the Chinese app’s connections to Chinese government security, and the potential use of the nominally innocent app to surveil American citizens.
The President had made the announcement on an Air Force One flight to the press pool, later confirming that the media could report on the policy move on the record.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” said the President bluntly.
TikTok is a viral video app marketed to teenagers and young adults that allows users to create short and edited videos. It’s frequently used for memes, pranks, and simple political content. It’s owned by Chinese company ByteDance, which is obligated to cooperate with Chinese intelligence services under the laws of China.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had previously spoken of security concerns involving the Chinese app. Microsoft had recently offered to purchase the app from its parent company, but the surveillance and security surrounding it appear to have shelved such a possibility for now.
There are genuine surveillance and data-mining concerns with TikTok, but it’s also probably worth considering that banning the app will allow neoliberal tech monopolies such as Facebook and Apple to share up an even larger share of the demand for platforms designed for similar content.
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