The Department of Justice announced on Thursday that for the first time in nearly two decades, Attorney General William Bar issued a directive that would pave the way for the federal government to resume the use of the death penalty. This move would be huge and would play a large part in providing more reason for criminals not to act on violent urges that would warrant the death penalty.
According to the agency, Barr ordered the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to adopt a proposed addendum to the Federal Execution Protocol to allow for capital punishment to resume.
The DOJ provided descriptions of five individuals it seeks to have executed in the months of December and January, one of which was Daniel Lewis Lee, a white supremacist, who murdered three people, including an eight-year-old girl. “After robbing and shooting the victims with a stun gun,Lee covered their heads with plastic bags,sealed the bags with duct tape, weighed down each victim with rocks,and threw the family of three into the Illinois bayou,” the DOJ said in a statement.
Another criminal scheduled to be executed is Lezmond Mitchell, convicted in 2003 of stabbing a 63-year old grandmother and per the DOJ “forcing her nine-year old granddaughter to sit besides her lifless body for a 30 to 40 mile drive…Mitchell then slit the girl’s throat twice,crushed her head with 20-pound rocks,and severed and buried both victims’ heads and hands.”
These are the types of insane criminals that this action taken by the Trump appointed AG Barr would keep off the streets.
The rest of the convicts scheduled include Wesley Ira Purkey, who raped and killed a 16-year-old girl; Alfred Bourgeoism who molested, and beat to death his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter; Dustin Lee Honken, who shot dead five people.
“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,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement. “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.”
The new protocol calls on BOP to use the lethal injection drug pentobarbital to carry out the executions, replacing a three-drug procedure that was previously used.
Additional executions will be announced at a later date, the DOJ stated.
President Barack Obama ordered a review of the death penalty in 2014 after a botched state execution in Oklahoma. The findings of the review are unclear, and it is unknown whether the review will impact the way in which future executions will be carried out.
The move by Barr comes after former Vice President Joe Biden announced his support for eliminating of the federal death penalty, despite supporting it for decades. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) is the sole 2020 White House candidate to publically support preserving capital punishment in specific cases.