US to resume federal executions on July 13, after a 17-year stay

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jun 16, 2020, 06:28 AM(IST)

File photo of US Attorney General William Barr. Photograph:( Reuters )

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There has been just three federal execution since the death penalty was reinstated by the US government in 1988.

A year after Attorney General Bill Barr announced that he intended to resume the use of the death penalty for federal crimes, the United States will resume federal executions on July 13, after a 17-year stay, AFP report said quoting Justice Department on Monday.

There has been just three federal execution since the death penalty was reinstated by the US government in 1988.

Five convicted murderers were scheduled to undergo lethal injections in December 2019 and January of this year at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. But at the last minute, the US Supreme Court refused to lift a stay on federal executions, saying that -- "in light of what is at stake" -- the block on executions should be reviewed by an appeals court, the report further said.

In April, an appeals court in Washington approved the use of pentobarbital for lethal injections, and Barr ordered that new execution dates be set for four of the five convicts.

"We owe it to the victims of these horrific crimes," Barr said in a statement.

Following his order, the Bureau of Prisons scheduled the executions to take place between July 13 and August 28.

Among the four is Daniel Lewis Lee, an avowed white supremacist, who was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl.

The mother of one of his victims, Earlene Peterson, opposes Lee's execution due to her religious convictions and appealed to US President Donald Trump to grant Lee clemency.

"I can't see how executing Daniel Lee will honor my daughter in any way," Peterson said in a video posted online. "In fact, kind of like it dirties her name because she wouldn't want it and I don't want it."

Trump, who is a fervent advocate of the death penalty and has even said it should be applied against drug dealers, did not grant her appeal.

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