Jul 26, 2019

US to resume federal executions after 2003

The US federal government is to resume executing death-row inmates after a 16-year hiatus, the justice department has announced.

Attorney General William Barr said in a statement he had directed the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to schedule the executions of five inmates.

Mr Barr said the five had been convicted of murders or rapes of children or the elderly.

The executions have been scheduled for December 2019 and January 2020.

Mr Barr's announcement lifts what was an informal moratorium on the federal death penalty - as opposed to state-directed executions - since the 2003 execution of Louis Jones Jr, a 53-year-old a Gulf War veteran who murdered
19-year-old soldier Tracie Joy McBride.

Mr Barr is to allow the prison authorities to use the single drug Pentobarbital in place of a three-drug procedure previously used in federal executions. The drug is a potent sedative that slows down the body, including the nervous system, to the point of death.

(Excerpts : BBC News)

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