FEDERAL executions will be halted while the Department of Justice reviews their necessity and use after a record number of people were executed under the Trump Administration.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he was imposing a moratorium on federal executions beginning Thursday night, saying the department will review its policies and procedures.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said the DOJ will review processes for federal execution under the Trump AdministrationCredit: EPA
Trump’s presidency saw a record high of 13 executions in a six month periodCredit: AP
“The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States, but is also treated fairly and humanely,” Garland said. “That obligation has special force in capital cases.”
Garland was referencing procedures put into place by former Attorney General William Barr.
The Justice Department, operating under Barr during the Trump Administration, saw a record-high execution of 13 people in a six-month span.
A federal lawsuit was filed recently regarding the protocols put into place by Barr, including the risk of pain and suffering associated with the drug used for lethal injection: pentobarbital.
There are discrepancies in executions, like how witnesses allege Dustin Higgs was shuddering when given a lethal injection
Joe Biden said he is working to stop federal executionsCredit: AP
The Trump Administration marks the first time in 17 years that a person died by federal execution.
No other president had overseen as many executions in 120 years.
The most infamous execution under Trump was Dustin Higgs, who was killed less than a week before Trump left office.
The major concern for investigators comes between the separate accounts given by executioners and witnesses.
Executioners of the 13 inmates killed likened lethal injection to falling asleep and light snoring.
However, media reports and other witnesses recounted how inmates’ stomachs rolled, shook and shuddered from the injection, including Higgs who was executed in Indiana.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has declined to comment on how it obtained pentobarbital to carry out lethal injections.
Joe Biden himself said he opposes the death penalty and is working on implementing policy to stop executions while in office.
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