Death Penalty: The Verdict Is In

Death Penalty: The Verdict Is In

( – The last federal execution occurred in 2003, when Louis Jones Jr., a US Army soldier, was put to death for the rape and murder of a fellow soldier. In July 2019, Attorney General William Barr ordered the execution of five men on death row. Each man was convicted of murdering children, leading Barr to state they represent the “worst criminals.”

US District Judge, Tanya S. Chutkan, blocked the executions in November 2019. The District Judge claimed the executions conflict with the Federal Death Penalty Act (FDPA), and that they did not give the men an opportunity to “challenge the legality” of their executions.

On Tuesday, April 7, a federal appeals court sided with the Attorney General and the Trump Administration, vacating the lower court’s order to halt the executions in a 2:1 decision. The decision was unsurprisingly divided by partisan lines, with Judges Gregory Katsas and Neomi Rao voting to remove the block and Judge David Tatel voting against it.

The appeals court sent the case back to the lower courts for additional review, looking to address challenges from the death row inmates Barr condemned. Regardless, this is a big win for the Trump Administration, who is looking to provide justice to the families of the victims these men murdered in cold blood.

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