FILE - In this July 8, 2019 file photo, Attorney General William Barr speaks during a tour of a federal prison in Edgefield, S.C. The Justice Department says it will carry out executions of federal death row inmates for the first time since 2003. The announcement Thursday says five inmates will be executed starting in December. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

U.S. Justice Dept. will execute inmates for first time since 2003

Five inmates who have been sentenced to death are scheduled to be executed starting in December

The Justice Department said Thursday that it will carry out executions of federal death row inmates for the first time since 2003.

Five inmates who have been sentenced to death are scheduled to be executed starting in December.

In 2014, following a botched state execution in Oklahoma, then-President Barack Obama directed the department to conduct a broad review of capital punishment and issues surrounding lethal injection drugs. It remains unclear today what came of that review and whether it will change the way the federal government carries out executions.

That review has been completed and the executions can continue, the department said.

Executions on the federal level have been rare. The government has put to death only three defendants since restoring the federal death penalty in 1988, the most recent of which occurred in 2003, when Louis Jones was executed for the 1995 kidnapping, rape and murder of a young female soldier.

“Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people’s representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the President,” Attorney General William Barr said in a news release. “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.”

Capital punishment has emerged as a flashpoint in the Democratic presidential primary, with former Vice-President Joe Biden this week shifting to call for the elimination of the federal death penalty after years of supporting it. Biden’s criminal justice plan also would encourage states to follow the federal government in ending the death penalty, 25 years after he helped pass a tough crime bill that expanded capital punishment for more potential offences.

The lone Democratic White House hopeful who has publicly supported preserving capital punishment in certain circumstances is Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who has said he would leave it open as an option for major crimes such as terrorism.

___

Associated Press writer Elana Schor contributed to this report.

Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Harrison village staff drafts plastic ban bylaw

Single-use plastics once again in the crosshairs

Winter Festival Concert rescheduled

HHSE concert was postponed due to bad weather last week

Borrow $8 billion for Fraser Valley rail link, Abbotsford mayor urges province

Henry Braun urges province to borrow billions to connect Abbotsford & Chilliwack to Metro Vancouver

WildSafe program wraps up quiet season for District of Kent, Harrison

Black bears biggest source of calls in the FVRD

Upper Fraser RCMP joins Twitter

Twitter feed once limited to Chilliwack expands

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Youth hit with gun butt during fight at Lower Mainland mall

RCMP are investigating the fight between two groups of youths

Weather warning: 80 mm of rain expected overnight in Metro Vancouver

Environment Canada is urging caution when driving

Manitoba RCMP spent less than $800K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Pooches Jasper and Jake bring comfort to Abbotsford Police Department

Comfort dogs there for cuddles and play time when needed

Most Read