The list of criminals sentenced to Death penalty under US federal law currently comprises 62. It has become steadily longer in the past 16 years, because even more death sentences like, but were no longer enforced. On Thursday, the Federal Department of Prisons said it has scheduled five executions for December and January in a detention center in Indiana. The five men were convicted in separate cases for murdering children.
The state Secretary of Justice William Barr said “I personally chose the five cases because they were particularly heinous crimes”. The first candidate for death to be executed was a member of a far-right group that had murdered a family of three. Barr’s decision effectively suspends a moratorium imposed since 2003 on the enforcement of capital punishment at the federal level. Since then, many states have passed such a deferral. In addition to a general ethical controversy over the death penalty, there were also concrete doubts about the method of execution resulting from a fatal injection. The previously used poison injections, which consisted of three active ingredients, were controversial. Experts had proven that they caused torment.
Barr said that the Department of Justice upholds the rule of law – “we owe it to the victims and their families to implement the punishment imposed by our justice system”. He stated that the barbiturate (a drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant, and can therefore produce a wide range of effects, from mild sedation to death) pentobarbital should be administered to the death candidates. The drug has been administered since 2010 in 14 states in more than 200 executions. Federal Courts and the Supreme Court have found the compatibility of this method of execution with the eighth amendment, which prohibits cruel punishments.
Federal prosecutors have been serving terrorism and cold-blooded killings for the years since 2003 death penalty Although the US government only enforced three death sentences in the period between the reinstatement of the death penalty at the federal level in 1988 and the moratorium, he pleads. Background of the legal policy back and forth were respectively judgments of the Supreme Court. The constitutional judges had the practice, as it had been enforced in 1972, first declared in 1972 1972 as an “arbitrary” punishment for unconstitutional, 1976, the own judgment but itself de facto repealed. The Confederation reintroduced the death penalty only in 1988 on the basis of the judgment.
Among the three executed between 1988 and 2003 was Timothy J. McVeigh, the assassin of the Oklahoma City attack in 1995. The sentence was enforced in 2001. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon assassin, and Dylann Roof, who stormed the church of an African American community in South Carolina in 2015 and killed nine believers, are on the current list of 62 federally sentenced death row candidates.
Barr’s arrangement meets the wishes of US President Donald Trump. He has repeatedly stated that he supports the death penalty. After the far-right attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh in the fall of last year, he had pleaded for the perpetrator to receive the “ultimate punishment”. Just before the decision Barrs had Joe Biden, who in polls leading candidates for the presidential candidacy of the Democrats, submitted a plan for a criminal law reform. In it he had emphasized that 160 of the people sentenced to death since 1973 at all levels of state were later relieved of their responsibility.
On Twitter, he wrote shortly after, because the rule of law can not guarantee absolute security, in his judgments always to be correct, the death penalty should be abolished. Biden, who was not previously known as an opponent of the death penalty avoided such an ethical debate, but joined the camp of the “death penalty” opponents, ie to his left competitors who had previously spoken out against the penalty.
The controversy over the death penalty is closely linked to the racism debate in America. Civil rights groups and left-wing democrats also reject the sentence because it hits disproportionately many blacks. African Americans are a very popular group in the context of the elections in 2020. A survey by the Pew Research Center revealed last year that approval for the death penalty has increased again after years of decline.
In 1996, 78 percent of Americans supported the death penalty, compared to 49 percent in 2016. By contrast, in 2018 the value had risen again to 54 percent. The death penalty is one of the main lines of conflict that is going through the party-political camps: 77 percent of Republicans are in favor of the punishment, but only 35 percent of the Democrats.
In 1996, there were still 71 percent of Democrats – and 87 percent of Republicans. It is noteworthy against the background of the future presidential election that, especially in the group of independents, the approval of the death penalty has risen – those voters who register neither as democrats nor as republicans. In this group, the number of supporters of the death penalty has increased in recent years from 44 to 52 percent.