Truthout - July 2, 2021

he Department of Justice (DOJ) is issuing a moratorium on all federal executions, pausing a set of brutal policies that were put in place by the Trump administration last year. But many anti-death penalty activists say that President Joe Biden needs to fulfill his campaign promise of ending the death penalty altogether.

Attorney General Merrick made the announcement on Thursday evening.

“The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States, but is also treated fairly and humanely,” Garland said. “That obligation has special force in capital cases.”

The pause in executions only applies to federal prisoners sentenced to the death penalty, around 50 individuals in total.

Whiled viewed by many liberals as a step in the right direction, death penalty abolitionists emphasized the ultimate futility of attempts to reform capital punishment.

“We know the federal death penalty system is marred by racial bias, arbitrariness, over-reaching, and grievous mistakes by defense lawyers and prosecutors that make it broken beyond repair,” Ruth Friedman, director of the Federal Capital Habeas Project, said to the Associated Press.

Movement activists also called on the Biden administration to take more proactive steps in ending the practice altogether. ...
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