Trump's Legacy: Champion of Death Penalty

Donald Trump thinks he will be remembered as a supporter of criminal justice reform. That could not be further from the truth.

The truth is he is a champion of the death penalty, which is state-sanctioned murder.

In the past year, 12 federal inmates have been put to death. Four more are scheduled to die before Trump leaves office.

Bryan Stevenson, who leads the Equal Justice Initiative, told WAPO:

The recent rush of executions is a painful demonstration of why the death penalty must be abolished in this country. At a time when prisoners have been cut off from family members, barred from receiving legal visits and are dying from COVID at infection and mortality rates that greatly exceed the population, there is no legitimate justification for rushing to execute federal prisoners. It is the very definition of arbitrary and abuse of power to use the criminal justice system to engage in ill-timed executions and spectacle violence as a show of force and political power. Most of the people who have been executed were killed before serious questions about the reliability and fairness of their sentences had been resolved.

People with intellectual disabilities, a woman with a tragic history of abuse and violence and people of color are being killed unnecessarily. The country will not be safer as a result of these executions, the rule of law will be compromised and once again we tolerate racial bias, abuse of the vulnerable and indifference to just and reliable punishment.

Trump is the first occupant of the oval office in 130 years to have an execution take place during his lame duck period.

So when Donald Trump brags about his pardons or Jared Kushner brags about the First Step Act (it should be called the Baby Steps Act, the relief is so slight and affects so few), remember Radley Balko's words instead:

These executions were a conscious choice. Barr, presumably with Trump’s approval, ordered them. They didn’t have to. This isn’t some required duty they had no choice but to carry out. They made executing people a priority. They made it their legacy. They’re proud of it

< Electoral College : The End of the Road for Donald Trump | William Barr's "I'll Go Now" Letter to Trump >
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  • Display: Sort:
    This is at least as horrible as the attack (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 14, 2020 at 06:40:23 PM EST
    on democracy. In both cases, the point is to feed his narcissism. Here, to prove he is "tough" at the expense of the lives (literally) of the helpless, just as he promoted himself decades ago at the expense of the (since exonerated) Central Park Five. And all the better, from his POV, to go full steam ahead during the Lame Duck, knowing that Biden has stated that he intends to reprieve if not commute all federal death sentences. Tr*mp thus not only takes a dozen or so human lives for no valid social purpose but also gets to lord it over the President-elect -- who so publicly made him a Loser -- at the same time.

    Shameful. For us all. (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 14, 2020 at 10:13:06 PM EST
    Holiday (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 15, 2020 at 10:03:24 AM EST
    Trump can do one thing well (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 16, 2020 at 10:49:51 AM EST
    A new study found that the federal government executed more prisoners in 2020 than all of the states that still carry out the death penalty combined.