Attorney General William Barr has followed through on a campaign promise of President Trump, directing the federal government to resume capital punishment for the first time in over 15 years.
Barr also directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the execution of five inmates currently sitting on death row.
Those individuals – “five death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society — children and the elderly” – are to be scheduled for punishment in December or January.
The attorney general has argued for quite some time in favor of the death penalty. In 1991, he wrote a New York Times op-ed column stating, “we need a death penalty to deter and punish the most heinous Federal crimes such as terrorist killings” and to “send a message to drug dealers and gangs.”
Looks like they’re about to get that message.
NEW: Attorney General Barr says U.S. will resume capital punishment. He directs executions to be scheduled for five death-row inmates.
— Greg Stohr (@GregStohr) July 25, 2019
Justice For The Victims Families
One of the inmates scheduled for execution is Daniel Lewis Lee, a white supremacist convicted in May of 1999 for heinously murdering a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl.
It will be interesting to see how Democrats develop their talking points around a supposedly racist administration doling out punishment for a white supremacist that his predecessors failed to do.
In a statement on the capital punishment reinstatement, 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.
Some have argued that institution of the death penalty is not an effective deterrent to violent crime. Others have suggested that its effectiveness as such is less important than the need to simply punish a violent criminal because they should die for their crimes.
President Trump is a strong proponent of capital punishment, advocating for the death penalty for individuals that murder police officers.
“One of the first things I’d do in terms of executive orders, if I win, will be to sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country, out to the world, that anybody killing a policeman, a policewoman, a police officer, anybody killing a police officer: Death penalty is going to happen, okay?” Trump said.
Speaking at a National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service last year, Trump renewed that call for the death penalty to be served as punishment for those found guilty of killing a police officer.
“We’re not going to let bad things happen to our police,” President Trump says. “We believe criminals who kill our police should get the death penalty. Bring it forth.” pic.twitter.com/Pyfd3ONDHp
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 15, 2018
He also suggested the death penalty could deter drug dealers.
“Some countries have a very, very tough penalty, the ultimate penalty,” he analyzed. “By the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do.”
Trump also half-jokingly suggested traitors such as Bowe Bergdahl should fall victim to the firing squad.
By contrast, Barack Obama’s Justice Department in 2016 refused to seek the death penalty for Ahmed Abu Khattala, a man designated by the United States government as a terrorist and whom prosecutors accused of leading the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the deaths of four Americans.
Read more at the Political Insider