Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley is set to introduce a bill banning the federal death penalty following the Trump administration’s announcement regarding the policy.
“The death penalty has no place in a just society,” Pressley wrote in a tweet Thursday.
Her announcement comes after the Trump administration directed the Bureau of Prisons “to schedule the executions of five death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society – children and the elderly.”
Pressley’s bill states:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may be sentenced to death or put to death on or after the date of enactment of this Act for for any violation of Federal law. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person sentenced to death before the date of enactment of this Act for any violation of Federal law shall be resentenced.
“It was wrong then and it’s wrong now,” she wrote. “The cruelty is the point — this is by design.”
Breitbart News reported Thursday that Attorney General William Barr issued a directive that will allow the government to resume the use of the federal death penalty.
Barr said in the press release:
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. 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.
One of the men awaiting execution is Wesley Ira Purkey, who was found guilty of raping and murdering a 16-year-old girl, then dismembering and burning her body before dumping it in a septic pond.
Purkey was also convicted of using a claw hammer to “bludgeon to death an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio and walked with a cane.”
His execution is scheduled to occur on December 13 of this year.
The press release states that “each of these inmates has exhausted their appellate and post-conviction remedies, and currently no legal impediments prevent their executions, which will take place at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana.”
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