Federal death penalty reinstated after 16-year break, 5 executions to be scheduled: Justice Dept.

David Caplan
July 25, 2019 - 10:52 am
William Barr

Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA


WASHINGTON (1010 WINS/AP) —  Attorney General William Barr has ordered the reinstatement of the federal death penalty after a 16-year break, the Justice Department said Thursday. The last execution was carried out in 2003.

The department says five inmates will be executed, starting in December.

“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,” Barr said in a statement. 

“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.”

In 2014, President Barack Obama directed the department to conduct a review of capital punishment and issues surrounding lethal injection drugs. That review resulted in what effectively was a freeze on executions.

The department says the Bureau of Prisons has completed the review and the executions can continue.