The United States Government is going to resume the application of the death penalty at the federal level with the executions it has scheduled in July of four convicted for the murder of children, according to the magazine ‘Newsweek’.
This is the first time since 2003 that the federal authorities have enacted the application of the death penalty. The United States Attorney General, William Barr, approved an addendum in July 2019 to the Federal Protocol of Executions, to propose that the same drugs be used throughout the country in the lethal injections used to end the lives of those convicted.
The executions of the four convicts were scheduled for December, but their defenses appealed against the addendum approved by the US attorney general. Although one of the courts is yet to be pronounced, the first federal execution has already been set.
“The American people, acting through Congress and the presidents of the two political parties, have long instructed that defendants convicted of the most heinous crimes be subjected to the death penalty,” said the US attorney general. , it’s a statement.
Barr has pointed out that the four “assassins” whose executions have been set for Monday have had “complete and fair” processes in accordance with the Constitution and US law. “We owe to the victims of these horrible crimes and their families that the sentence imposed by our justice system is carried out,” he argued.
In 2014, criticism of the death penalty increased after the execution by lethal injection of convicted Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma. During the injection, the inmate’s vein became blocked and he began to have seizures until he ended up dying of a heart attack. Several observers then denounced that the execution had not been carried out in an adequate manner due to the suffering he suffered and the way he ended up dying.
The then President of the United States, Barack Obama, assured in a press conference that the execution was “deeply problematic” and requested a review of the drugs used in the lethal injections, which then used to be based on a mixture of various substances.
Following Donald Trump’s arrival to the Presidency, Barr approved an instruction to the Federal Prisons Agency to use only a single substance, pentobarbital, in place of the previously used drug cocktail, in lethal injections. Executions would resume at the federal level with the application of the death penalty to five convicts.
Executions were scheduled to take place in an Indiana state prison, but four of the five prisoners filed appeals to stop the application of the death penalty. The convicts’ attorneys argued that Barr’s addendum violates the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994, which establishes that inmates must be executed “in the manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the sentence was passed.” None of the five convicts were sentenced in the state of Indiana.
Although at first a district court halted executions, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in April decided to allow the government to proceed with the application of the death penalty.
Trump has made it clear on several occasions that he supports the application of the death penalty. “I have always supported the death penalty,” he said in February 2016. “I do not understand why there are people who do not,” he added.
In March 2018, Trump assured that he supports the application of the death penalty for certain drug crimes. “Drug dealers kill so many thousands of our citizens each year,” he said, noting that the Justice Department will review the death penalty to see if it can be applied to “really bad camels.”
According to the United States National Conference of State Congresses, 28 states continue to have the application of capital punishment in their legal system.