AG William Barr reinstates the federal death penalty after 16-year pause


Attorney General William Barr has ordered the immediate reinstatement of the federal death penalty after a pause of 16 years, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

According to NBC News:

“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,” Barr said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

The federal death penalty was last carried out in 2003 in the case of Louis Jones who was convicted in the kidnapping and murder of 19-year-old Army Pvt. Tracie McBride.

There are currently 62 inmates on on federal death row, according to a list compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit.

Among the current inmates on death row are Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof and Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Executions had been placed on hold due to a shortage of the drugs used in lethal injections, HuffPost reports:

Executions had lapsed due to a shortage of sodium thiopental, an anesthetic that’s part of a three-drug cocktail used in executions as stipulated by the Federal Execution Protocol.

Barr directed the BOP on Thursday to adopt an addendum to the protocol, replacing the three-drug procedure with a single drug — pentobarbital.

Barr also ordered the immediate scheduling of five inmates for December and January, according to the Washington Post:

Daniel Lee Lewis, for the killing of a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl; Lezmond Mitchell for the killing of a 63-year-old and her nine-year granddaughter; Wesley Ira Purkey for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl and the murder of an 80-year-old woman; Alfred Bourgeois for molesting and killing his two-year-old daughter; and Dustin Lee Honken, for shooting and killing five people, including two children.

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