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

Port Alberni man arrested after police seize suspected illicit drugs in Nanoose Bay

Car stopped, impounded after driver clocked travelling at more than twice the posted speed limit

Residents speak out against proposed Parksville affordable housing development

Environment a primary concern; land is largely on a 200-year-old floodplain away from city centre

‘Epic sky palace’: Parksville businesses grant wish for young boy recovering from cancer

Eleven-year-old Kai Hennessey receives treehouse of his dreams

PQB crime report: RCMP on hunt for prowler, counterfeiters, car thieves

Police received 203 complaints the week of Dec. 29 to Jan. 4

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

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

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

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

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Island river

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

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.”

Most Read