Trump administration in rush to bring back federal executions will face court challenges

By | July 25, 2019

BuzzFeed reports:

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it will resume federal executions for the first time since 2003, reviving a court fight over lethal injections that’s been dormant for nearly a decade.

Five men on death row are now scheduled for execution by lethal injection in December 2019 and January 2020, according to the Justice Department; each was convicted of murder and has exhausted his appeals. The new federal execution protocol involves a single drug, sodium pentobarbital, which is commonly used in state executions.

“Under Administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals, including these five murderers, each of whom was convicted by a jury of his peers after a full and fair proceeding,” Attorney General Bill 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.”

The new protocol will immediately end up in court, however, and could be put on hold before the planned executions take place. A lawsuit pending since 2005 challenging the federal government’s execution procedures has been on hold since 2011, when the Obama administration effectively suspended lethal injections as officials explored changes to the process. [Continue reading…]

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