The Department of Justice has announced that capital punishment of federal prisoners will resume. This will be the first time the federal government has initiated executions since 2003.
According to The Daily Caller:
Attorney General William Barr said Thursday the Justice Department will resume executions of federal prisoners after a nearly 20 years lapse, and immediately scheduled executions for five federal death row inmates convicted of murdering children and the elderly, while promising more to come.
According to a Justice Department announcement, Barr directed Hugh Hurwitz, the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons, to adopt the revision to the Federal Execution Protocol, a maneuver that “[clears] the way for the federal government to resume capital punishment after a nearly two decade lapse, and bringing justice to victims of the most horrific crimes.”
Barr also directed Hurwitz to schedule executions for five death-row inmates at a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, in December 2019 and January 2020. According to the Bureau of Prisons, no federal executions occurred in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Three executions were carried out in the 2000s, including the June 11, 2001 lethal injection of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Louis Jones Jr. was the last federal prisoner executed. A veteran of the first Gulf War, Jones was convicted for the 1995 murder of Army private Tracie McBride. He was executed on March 18, 2003.
The report indicated that there are currently 62 inmates on death row in the federal prison system.