USA: (Monitoring Desk) Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a pause on federal executions on Thursday to call for a reassessment of the Department of Justice’s death penalty policy. In a memorandum, Garland stated, The Department of Justice must ensure that everybody in the federal criminal justice system is not only provided the protections afforded by the United States Constitution and laws, but is also fairly treated and respectfully. In capital situations, responsibility takes on added significance.
Garland’s decision follows the Justice Department’s announcement in 2019 that federal executions by lethal injection, utilizing a harsh one-drug technique, would’ve been started. Between July 2020 and January 2021, the alteration allowed for 13 executions.
According to the administration, between July 2020 and January 2021, the department made a number of modifications to capital case policies and practices and performed out the first federal executions in nearly two decades. This included the federal Bureau of Prisons developing a new policy for giving fatal injections using the medication pentobarbital.
The investigation will be led by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, according to Garland.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said at the time that he was “very concerned” about the federal government’s use of the death sentence, which had abruptly revived during the Trump presidency.
After a 17-year pause, former Attorney General William Barr restored federal executions in 2019. Barr mandated that the government use a new approach based on a single substance, the pentobarbital.
The 13 persons died under Trump’s presidency are more than any other president since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since the death sentence was reintroduced in 1988, the federal government had only killed 3 people until last year. Death penalty specialists and groups have blasted the execution binge, saying it underscores long-standing disparities in a criminal justice system that unfairly treats Black prisoners as the worst of the worst crimes.