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:
Attorney General William P. Barr has directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to adopt a proposed Addendum to the Federal Execution Protocol—clearing the way for the federal government to resume capital punishment after a nearly two decade lapse, and bringing justice to victims of the most horrific crimes. The Attorney General has further directed the Acting Director of the BOP, Hugh Hurwitz, to schedule the executions of five death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society—children and the elderly.
“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.
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