The Trump Administration’s Revival of Federal Executions Is a Cynical Election-Year Move

  
Via:  tessylo  •  5 months ago  •  30 comments

The Trump Administration’s Revival of Federal Executions Is a Cynical Election-Year Move

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T









U.S.

The Trump Administration’s Revival of Federal Executions Is a Cynical Election-Year Move



db719b40-5837-11e6-9036-e7be167f9571_RS_   Andrew Cohen, Rolling Stone   16 hours ago  






516686da70f838ad4742cffbec444b4c Click here to read the full article.

This story was first published by the   Brennan Center for Justice .

The only surprising part of the Trump administration’s choice to  restart federal executions is that it took the president  this long to make it . As a matter of pure politics,  Donald Trump would probably like nothing more than to have a national debate over the next year about what sort of justice ought to be meted out to convicted murderers. Such a dialogue during the primary season will likely rile his base,  track his “American carnage” motif , and distract reporters away from coverage of the administration’s malfeasance and the president’s own legal troubles.


The Trump administration quietly until now has been  increasing the rate of federal capital cases , a policy entirely consistent both with Trump’s own  odious views of the  death penalty  and the views of both of the attorneys general who have served in this administration. Like Trump, Jeff Sessions pushed to begin killing federal death row inmates again last year and famously suggested that capital punishment was applied too restrictively;  that drug dealers, too, should be executed

William Barr , the current attorney general, now simply is implementing what Sessions started. The feds say they will not fight in court, as so many capital states have, over the efficacy of a three-drug lethal injection cocktail or  other deadly brew . Instead,  following the lead of capital punishment states like Missouri , the Bureau of Prisons will try to kill condemned prisoners using a single drug: pentobarbital. And so  the feds announced Thursday  that five federal inmates at the death chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana, already have been issued their death warrants.


It doesn’t matter to Trump, or to Barr, that  violent crime rates are down in America  and at generational lows in many jurisdictions. It doesn’t matter that, as  more  states  abolish the death penalty,  executions are down across the country  and that the imposition of death sentences in murder cases also is waning for  good and practical reasons . It does not matter to this administration that conservative opposition to capital punishment  has grown significantly over the past decade or so . Or that the American people, slowly but surely, are turning away from it as well , with less than half of Americans saying that the death penalty is applied fairly.

And it surely does not matter, to Trump or to Barr, that the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder  once undertook a study of the federal death penalty  at the request of President Obama because of concerns they both had about the fairness and accuracy of capital punishment. Federal death sentences obviously haven’t just become more fair or accurate in the past few years. They’ve just become politically expedient to this administration. (Incidentally, what a disappointment Obama and Holder turned out to be when it came to capital punishment. The internal DOJ study Holder was working on never was completed, or at least never was made public, and Obama in the end  failed to use his broad clemency powers to make a dent  on federal death row). 

Virtually all of the problems inherent in capital regimes at the state level are evident at the federal level. There are  racial  and  geographical disparities , for example, all chronicled by the experts at the  Federal Capital Habeas Project.  Three states — Virginia, Texas, and Missouri — account for nearly half of all current federal capital sentences. And just three federal appeals courts — the 4th, 5th, and 8th Circuits — have upheld two-thirds of all federal death penalty convictions and sentences.

The “worst of the worst” is how the feds justify their decision to kill again after a 16-year hiatus. Even the Justice Department press release announcing the identities of the federal prisoners chosen to be killed first reads in its dripping scorn for the condemned like a prosecutor’s closing argument or one of Justice Clarence Thomas’  opinions in a capital case . The truth is that Clinton-era  restrictions on appellate review  mean there are fewer ways to identify prosecutorial misconduct or ineffective assistance of counsel in these cases.

The Justice Department’s decision to gear up the “machinery of death,” to use the late Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun’s  famous phrase , surely will generate a new wave of federal capital litigation. Already there are questions,  for example , about whether the proposed new injection protocol will follow the precepts of administrative law, and where the feds are going to get the supply of the drug. But there is no reason to think this Supreme Court, as presently constituted, will stop the machine in its tracks.

So we will have a cold season ahead full of death penalty appeals and protests by opponents of capital punishment. We will have angry video and early-morning tweets from a president eager to ridicule abolitionists and tar them with the crimes of those whose lives they seek to save. And we’ll have a  new round of hand-wringing  from the justices in Washington as they fight anew over the use of deadly drugs. All over a cynical choice made by a president who has been  preening lately about his reputation for criminal justice reform










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Tessylo
1  seeder  Tessylo    5 months ago

It doesn’t matter to Trump, or to Barr, that  violent crime rates are down in America  and at generational lows in many jurisdictions. It doesn’t matter that, as  more  states  abolish the death penalty,  executions are down across the country  and that the imposition of death sentences in murder cases also is waning for  good and practical reasons . It does not matter to this administration that conservative opposition to capital punishment  has grown significantly over the past decade or so . Or that the American people, slowly but surely, are turning away from it as well , with less than half of Americans saying that the death penalty is applied fairly.

And it surely does not matter, to Trump or to Barr, that the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder  once undertook a study of the federal death penalty  at the request of President Obama because of concerns they both had about the fairness and accuracy of capital punishment. Federal death sentences obviously haven’t just become more fair or accurate in the past few years. They’ve just become politically expedient to this administration. (Incidentally, what a disappointment Obama and Holder turned out to be when it came to capital punishment. The internal DOJ study Holder was working on never was completed, or at least never was made public, and Obama in the end  failed to use his broad clemency powers to make a dent  on federal death row). 

Virtually all of the problems inherent in capital regimes at the state level are evident at the federal level. There are  racial  and  geographical disparities , for example, all chronicled by the experts at the  Federal Capital Habeas Project.  Three states — Virginia, Texas, and Missouri — account for nearly half of all current federal capital sentences. And just three federal appeals courts — the 4th, 5th, and 8th Circuits — have upheld two-thirds of all federal death penalty convictions and sentences.

The “worst of the worst” is how the feds justify their decision to kill again after a 16-year hiatus. Even the Justice Department press release announcing the identities of the federal prisoners chosen to be killed first reads in its dripping scorn for the condemned like a prosecutor’s closing argument or one of Justice Clarence Thomas’  opinions in a capital case . The truth is that Clinton-era  restrictions on appellate review  mean there are fewer ways to identify prosecutorial misconduct or ineffective assistance of counsel in these cases.

The Justice Department’s decision to gear up the “machinery of death,” to use the late Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun’s  famous phrase , surely will generate a new wave of federal capital litigation. Already there are questions,  for example , about whether the proposed new injection protocol will follow the precepts of administrative law, and where the feds are going to get the supply of the drug. But there is no reason to think this Supreme Court, as presently constituted, will stop the machine in its tracks.

So we will have a cold season ahead full of death penalty appeals and protests by opponents of capital punishment. We will have angry video and early-morning tweets from a president eager to ridicule abolitionists and tar them with the crimes of those whose lives they seek to save. And we’ll have a  new round of hand-wringing  from the justices in Washington as they fight anew over the use of deadly drugs. All over a cynical choice made by a president who has been  preening lately about his reputation for criminal justice reform

 
 
 
devangelical
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Tessylo @1    5 months ago

cool, expand that law to include most crimes committed by elected officials against the American people, that should come in handy in a couple years.

 
 
 
Tessylo
1.1.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  devangelical @1.1    5 months ago

Truly, traitors should be executed shouldn't they?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @1.1.1    5 months ago
Truly, traitors should be executed shouldn't they?

After a couple of little things happen first.

You know, like a trial and a conviction in a court of law.

Funny how some are complaining about this decision to impose sentences already handed down, but no one is willing to implore their reps to CHANGE the law.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tessylo @1    5 months ago

One good thing about this is...a White Supremacist will finally get the pink juice. He's been on federal death row for 20 years for killing a family, which included an 8 year old girl, then dumping their bodies in the Illinois River. This happened in Pope County, Arkansas. I had just moved here when it happened.

I say good riddance

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.1  Texan1211  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.2    5 months ago

Are you for or against the death penalty, or does it simply depend on the perpetrator of the crime?

I am for the death penalty in cases that have been decided by a jury or judge and it doesn't matter one whit to me who  the perpetrator of the crime was.

 
 
 
devangelical
1.2.2  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.2    5 months ago

to me it's about efficiency. fuck that life without parole bullshit in this day and age. if indisputable evidence is presented, a fifty cent bullet is better than paying $60K a year to the rwnj owned prison industry to launder into dark money. I truly believe that if horrific executions were televised on pay per view victims families could receive more restitution, criminals may think twice about the crimes they were going to commit, and sick fucks like me would get to watch scum get fed alive to sharks or alligators. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
1.2.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  devangelical @1.2.2    5 months ago

I like the way you think. I especially would like to see child killers molested by alligators

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.4  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @1.2.2    5 months ago

I hope you can convince the anti-death-penalty folks that you are right.

 
 
 
Tessylo
1.2.5  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.2.3    4 months ago
'I like the way you think. I especially would like to see child killers molested by alligators'
I think in some parts of Africa child traffickers are put in front of a firing squad and they start at the kneecaps and work their way up.  

 
 
 
devangelical
1.2.6  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.2.3    4 months ago

child molesters? 

2 tabs of Viagra to prep them

1 CO2 fire extinguisher to freeze it

1 meat cleaved to remove it

1 industrial stapler to keep their mouth closed after they get the unit stuffed in it

1 bike with 2 flat tires for them to ride to the ER that's at least 10 miles away

EZPZ

 
 
 
Tessylo
2  seeder  Tessylo    5 months ago

Isn't his fat ugly face in this piece the picture of evil?

What a scumlapping shitbag.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Tessylo @2    5 months ago
What a scumlapping shitbag.

Don't worry, he'll change the policy if it ever works out that more white criminals face the death penalty, than dark skinned ones.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1    5 months ago
Don't worry, he'll change the policy if it ever works out that more white criminals face the death penalty, than dark skinned ones.

Why don't you simply ask for your Democratic reps to change the law if you are against it?

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    5 months ago

Why don't you simply ask for your Democratic reps to change the law if you are against it?

Why don't you read the article before posting comments?  Make you look a lot less silly.  This is Executive Branch policies.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.2    5 months ago

It is the law.

Do you seriously think that there is something NOT in the law that would ALLOW death sentences?

You know, just because some Administrations have chosen to NOT enforce the law does NOT mean it STILL isn't the law.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-II/chapter-228

Now, should we simply ignore what I just proved to you? Pretend that the LAW, (as I stated and you disputed) actually does not EXIST?

Sorry, but being grounded in reality doesn't allow me to ignore laws or state they don't exist when they very clearly do exist.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
2.1.4  r.t..b...  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.3    5 months ago
but being grounded in reality doesn't allow me to ignore laws or state they don't exist when they very clearly do exist.

Like the laws prohibiting women the vote, inter-racial marriage, prohibition, or spitting on the sidewalk? The question is does one fight to change the law, or mindlessly acquiesce to it as was formulated. The answer is in one's core thinking...is there an injustice and should it be rectified to reflect our core values, or does one sheepishly go along with it simply because that's what was written. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  r.t..b... @2.1.4    5 months ago
Like the laws prohibiting women the vote, inter-racial marriage, prohibition, or spitting on the sidewalk? The question is does one fight to change the law, or mindlessly acquiesce to it as was formulated. The answer is in one's core thinking...is there an injustice and should it be rectified to reflect our core values, or does one sheepishly go along with it simply because that's what was written.

You make some good points there.

I find whining and bitching on an internet forum spectacularly ineffective as a means to change laws. I prefer going to the actual folks with the power to do it, and suggest that contacting your reps is more effective.

The day a bunch of keyboard social justice warriors change a law will be when I consider changing my mind.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
2.1.6  r.t..b...  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.5    5 months ago
The day a bunch of keyboard social justice warriors change a law will be when I consider changing my mind.

Sometimes right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of the laws legislated and put on the books for whatever motivation. If you consider capital punishment to be an acceptable part of sentencing given what your laws allow, so be it. That is your right and it cannot be argued. That said, never disregard an opposing opinion to be less important than yours simply because the current statutes align with your viewpoint. Our system will only succeed if opposition to the status quo is given the same due consideration. And this is not 'whining and bitching on an internet forum'...it is simply refuting those entrenched in their views to the exclusion of all others. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.7  Texan1211  replied to  r.t..b... @2.1.6    5 months ago
That said, never disregard an opposing opinion to be less important than yours simply because the current statutes align with your viewpoint. Our system will only succeed if opposition to the status quo is given the same due consideration. And this is not 'whining and bitching on an internet forum'...it is simply refuting those entrenched in their views to the exclusion of all others.

I have NO earthly idea why you addressed that to me.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

I prefer going to the actual folks with the power to do it, and suggest that contacting your reps is more effective.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
2.1.9  r.t..b...  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.7    4 months ago
I have NO earthly idea why you addressed that to me.

Gee, I don't know, perhaps as a response to your post, Tex... momentarily suspending hope it wouldn't result it yet another meaningless chase down your well established rabbit hole. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.10  Texan1211  replied to  r.t..b... @2.1.9    4 months ago
Lesson learned.

Perfect! Glad I could help in some small way!

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.1.11  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.5    4 months ago
'I find whining and bitching on an internet forum spectacularly ineffective as a means to change laws.'

Then why do you keep doing it?

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.12  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @2.1.11    4 months ago
Then why do you keep doing it?

Tessy, if you can show me one time on this article that I have bitched or whined about the law, please do so.

I will assume you can not since you did not.

What I do and why shouldn't concern you.

 
 
 
Sunshine
3  Sunshine    5 months ago
Don't worry, he'll change the policy if it ever works out that more white criminals face the death penalty, than dark skinned ones.

It is about even...there is one more white person than black.

One of the Boston Bombers is on the list.  Although I am not a capital punishment advocate, sometimes it does seem justified.

https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/state-and-federal-info/federal-death-penalty/list-of-federal-death-row-prisoners

 
 
 
The Old Breed Marine
4  The Old Breed Marine    4 months ago

I heard that Trump is doing this in preparation for the impending prosecution of traitors!

Some very prominent people....

jrSmiley_79_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  The Old Breed Marine @4    4 months ago

'I heard that Trump is doing this in preparation for the impending prosecution of traitors!'

Why would he do that when he and his administration/cabinet are the traitors?

 
 
 
katrix
4.2  katrix  replied to  The Old Breed Marine @4    4 months ago

Don't tell anyone, but I just noticed a gallows being built on Constitution Avenue.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
5  Dismayed Patriot    4 months ago

I think it would be hilarious if after losing the 2020 election Trump gets carted off in handcuffs and a bunch of the counterintelligence investigation is revealed proving Trump a traitor and conspirator with an enemy foreign government and then gets federally sentenced to death... Classic case of "Be careful what you wish for"...

 
 
 
Texan1211
5.1  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @5    4 months ago

So you have swapped out your dream of a Trump impeachment for a fantasy?

 
 
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