Trump Administration to Resume Executions of Federal Inmates

These are the last three federal executions in the United States. Today, Attorney General William Barr announced that after 16 years without a federal government-sanctioned murder, the Government will resume executing inmates sentenced to death in a federal court.

Presently, there are 62 such inmates in the U.S. AG Barr also announced today the first five on deck to be killed. [More...]

AG Barr also announced a change in the killing protocol, from the three drug cocktail ("You Wouldn't Do a Dog This Way") to one that just uses pentobarbital. (As an aside, anyone remember from back in the day the yellow sleeping pill Nembutal? That's pentobarbital. (There was also Lilly's red "seconal" which was secobarbital and the purple and turquoise Tuinal, which was a combo of secobarbital and amobarbital). Back to the present, today's press release says of the new one drug killing protocol:

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.

Here is the Justice Department manual on federal executions.

Some of the 2020 Dems are coming out in opposition to Barr's announcement and the resumption of the death penalty. Some are credible, some less so, due to their prior records on criminal justice.

< Mueller to Testify Wednesday | The Choices According to Donald Trump >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    A step backward (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by McBain on Fri Jul 26, 2019 at 10:08:51 AM EST

    Let's all form up (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 26, 2019 at 11:11:32 AM EST
    And "forcefully" respond to the latest version of...


    Look, this sucks.  Duh.  Can we not seriously see what this is supposed to distract from?

    Yeah (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jul 26, 2019 at 11:53:55 AM EST
    this one was beyond obvious.

    Barr is a contender for (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jul 26, 2019 at 01:14:30 PM EST
    a "master of irony" award.  From his statement:

     "...Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the peoples representatives of both houses of Congress and signed by the president."  "The Department of Justice upholds the rule of law."

    Yes, DOJ honors the peoples representatives and upholds the rule of law.  In other news, the DOJ refuses to prosecute Barr or Commerce Secretary Ross for blowing off the peoples representatives in the House. (Criminal contempt of Congress, for failure to comply with congressional subpoenas.)

    No mention of Barr's old favorite, that the death penalty is a deterrent, apparently, just the rule of law or, maybe, cruelty. Or, a mention of his "pro-life, from zygote to birth" position to compare and contrast.


    I hope the contenders for the Democratic (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 26, 2019 at 04:31:55 PM EST
    nomination find a way to turn this cruel and tragic decision into a teachable moment for America, articulating and clearly explaining one or more of the many reasons why capital punishment is wrong.

    just because the law says you can (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 26, 2019 at 09:59:12 PM EST
    murder someone, doesn't mean you have to murder someone. these people are just truly horrible substitutes for actual human beings.

    Atlantic (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 29, 2019 at 09:15:18 AM EST
    For Trump and Barr, Executions Are a Statement

    I am a defense attorney in Chicago, and I specialize in capital cases. When I mention this to other Illinois residents, many express surprise that there are still death-penalty prosecutions in our state, which has led a nationwide retreat from capital punishment.

    What many don't realize, though, is that the death penalty is still available through the federal government. Murder and other violent offenses are usually prosecuted by states. The Justice Department's own guidelines advise against prosecuting what is essentially "state crime," as states themselves can do that. Yet as long as a U.S. attorney can find a federal "hook," any state crime can be prosecuted by the federal government. If a defendant is a gang member accused of a murder, and the gang dealt drugs that at some point crossed state lines, that is sufficient to allow a federal prosecution.

    What does this have to do with Barr's recent actions? Support for the death penalty requires no evidence that it is administered fairly. But it also is in perfect alignment with Trump's predilections. He infamously called for, in a full-page ad, the execution of the Central Park Five, who were later exonerated by DNA evidence and the confession of the actual rapist. Despite this, he has never withdrawn his remarks or apologized in any way. That case says a lot about the death penalty more generally: When the people in power just want to make a statement, it doesn't matter what the facts show.

    Horrific! (none / 0) (#1)
    by NoSides on Fri Jul 26, 2019 at 09:52:31 AM EST
    What this means to me is that the Federal government is letting us all know that they can kill us if they choose to do so. If we step out of line.

    I look forward to the "2020 Dems" coming out in opposition - but am not very sanguine as to the intensity with which they will oppose this turn to barbarity.

    I did notice that the people selected for the first run of executions - with a one-chemical killing agent - are beyond the pale - if what I read is to believed. But that is to dampen the opposition to the practice of the Federal government killing prisoners. It softens us up to the practice.

    Next up - political prisoners.

    When the walls really start closing in (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 27, 2019 at 08:13:02 AM EST
    On the Dear Leader I think public executions will be a real possibility.  Such an effective distraction

    Go on, tell me you think it impossible.

    Wiki (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 27, 2019 at 08:35:06 AM EST
    While today most countries regard public executions with distaste, in the past they were preferred to executions behind closed doors because they allowed the convicted the opportunity to make a final speech, gave the state the chance to display its power in front of those who fell under its jurisdiction, and granted the public what was considered to be a great spectacle.[3] Public executions also permitted the state to project its superiority over political opponents.

    "For as long as there were public executions, there were crowds to see them. In London in the early 19th century, there might have been 5,000 to watch a standard hanging, but crowds of up to 100,000 came to see a famous felon killed. The numbers hardly changed over the years. An estimated 20,000 watched Rainey Bethea hang in 1936, in what turned out to be the last public execution in the U.S.

    According to Amnesty International, in 2012 "public executions were known to have been carried out in Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Somalia."[6] Amnesty International does not include Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen in their list of public execution countries, but there have been reports of public executions carried out there by state and non-state actors, such as ISIS.[7][8][9][10] Executions which can be classified as public were also carried out in the U.S. states of Florida and Utah as of 1992.

    If you think it can't happen you have not been paying attention


    yes, another (none / 0) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 27, 2019 at 12:08:02 PM EST
    bone to throw to Republicans and other deplorables.

    HowStuffWorks (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 27, 2019 at 11:13:31 AM EST
    Every state that performs executions has legislation providing for certain people to witness them. State laws vary as to who is allowed to watch an execution, but in general, these are the people who are allowed to be witnesses:

    Relatives of the victim(s)
    Relatives of the prisoner
    Prison warden
    Medical personnel
    Spiritual advisor(s)
    Prison guards
    Official group of "reputable citizens"
    Official group of state-selected witnesses
    Media representatives