US to resume the use of death penalty after 17 years
The United States (US) government will resume federal executions on July 13, after 17-years, the Justice Department said Monday.
There have been just three federal execution since the death penalty was reinstated by the US government in 1988.
Attorney General Bill Barr announced a year ago he intended to resume the use of the death penalty for federal crimes. Five convicted murderers were scheduled to undergo lethal injections in December 2019 and January of this year at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.
But at the last minute, the US Supreme Court refused to lift a stay on federal executions, saying that — “in light of what is at stake” — the block on executions should be reviewed by an appeals court.
In April, an appeals court in Washington approved the use of pentobarbital for lethal injections, and Barr ordered that new execution dates be set for four of the five convicts.
“We owe it to the victims of these horrific crimes,” Barr said in a statement.
Following his order, the Bureau of Prisons scheduled the executions to take place between July 13 and August 28.
Among the four is Daniel Lewis Lee who was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl.
The mother of one of his victims, Earlene Peterson, opposes Lee’s appealed to US President Donald Trump to grant Lee clemency.
“I can’t see how executing Daniel Lee will honor my daughter in any way,” Peterson said in a video posted online. “In fact, kind of like it dirties her name because she wouldn’t want it and I don’t want it.”
However, Trump did not grant her appeal.
According to the details, support for the death penalty has declined in recent years and is down to around 54 percent from 80 percent in the early 1990s.
Only a handful of states, mainly in the US south, still carry out executions. Twenty-two people were executed in 2019.
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