|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Law Death penalty|
After almost two decades, the federal government plans to resume executions on inmates serving death row sentences. The declaration reverses a suspension on the federal death penalty that was last enforced in 2003 (Benner, 2019). Consequently, the government plans to execute five inmates imprisoned of murder charges in December and January. Even though the death penalty was reinstated in 1988, the federal government has executed only three prisoners (Lynch, 2019). President Donald Trump's administration seeks to exploit the Department of Justice to impose the death penalty against inmates who committed heinous crimes. The Justice Department insists that it must implement the rule of law to grant the victims and their relatives the justice they deserve by applying the capital punishment issued by the American legal system. The Trump government intends to exploit the death penalty to deter crimes, but the activists believe that life sentence offers a better mitigation strategy.
The Trump administration alleges that it will use a humane approach to execute capital punishment. According to Lynch (2019), Attorney General William Barr claimed that pentobarbital dosages would replace the three-drug procedure that was used initially. The three-drug system had to be abandoned due to the botched executions that led to numerous lawsuits being filed by activists. Even though the American government has not issued convincing reasons that compel them to reinstate executions, Mr. Barr claimed that the new protocol addresses contentious issues. President Trump has always supported the use of capital punishment as an effective strategy to aid in eliminating drug trafficking within American jurisdiction (Lynch, 2019). However, most presidential aspirants have condemned Mr. Barr's command and termed it as deeply flawed and immoral. After the 16-year suspension, the death penalty has been viewed as unevenly applied and blatantly partial verdict.
Democrats have opposed the reinstatement of the death penalty despite their initial party stalwarts supporting capital punishment for decades. The Democratic presidential candidates presume that it is a harsh approach towards addressing atrocious offenses. For instance, Former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. acknowledged that approximately 160 inmates who had been sentenced to death since 1973 in the federal or state courts were later acquitted (Benner, 2019). Conversely, in 1994, Mr. Biden drafted a bill that was endorsed as the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act. Some of the convicts scheduled for the execution were sentenced to a federal death penalty under provisions of the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Benner, 2019). Mr. Biden argued that due to the uncertainty associated with some of the cases, the federal government should abolish the death penalty. Hence, Democrats have opted to draft a bill that will facilitate the abolishment of the federal death penalty.
In 1976, the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty four years after it had obliterated capital punishment. Consequently, most of the states incorporated laws that restored capital punishment, although the federal government did not implement the death penalty policies until 1988. Mr. Barr has supported the implementation of the death penalty as a policy to punish and deter heinous federal offenses since the George Bush era. In 1991, Mr. Barr wrote an Op-Ed article in The New York Times as the acting attorney general expressing his views that capital punishment would serve as a stern warning to drug gangs and dealers (Benner, 2019). Mr. Barr and President Trump have always supported the application of the death penalty for decades and will not hesitate to implement as a tactic if granted the power and opportunity.
The public opinion has changed significantly after the 16-years pause on the death penalty. Richmond (2018), argued that in 1996, roughly 80% of the American population supported the implementation of capital punishment, but in 2018 almost 54% of the citizens backed death row executions. Activists have convinced the public that capital punishment is not an ideal strategy to deter criminals from committing heinous delinquencies, a life sentence is an effective tactic. Moreover, several defense lawyers have ascertained that some of the death penalties were erroneous (Richmond, 2018). As a result, activists claim that capital punishment is disproportionately applied to victimize African-American inmates. Such allegations have encouraged the public to support life sentences rather than the racialized capital punishment in the American legal system.
Mr. Barr and President Trump claim that death penalty will offer a practical approach to deter atrocious crime in the U.S. However, the activists argue that a life sentence convictions will be equally efficient in lowering the crime rates. After the 16-years federal moratorium and some of the lawyers' ability to prove that their inmates' death penalty sentences were flawed has convinced the public to support life sentences compared to capital punishment. Democrats have condemned the reinstatement of the death penalty despite the initial party stalwarts backing capital punishment. Consequently, Democrat Representatives will draft a bill that will abolish the federal death penalty.
Benner, K. (2019). U.S. to resume capital punishment for federal inmates on death row. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/25/us/politics/federal-executions-death-penalty.html
Lynch, S. (2019). U.S. Justice Department resumes use of death penalty, schedules five executions. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-justice-death-penalty/u-s-justice-department-resumes-use-of-death-penalty-schedules-five-executions-idUSKCN1UK258
Richmond, L. (2018). States move to exempt people with SMI from death penalty. Psychiatric News, 53(7). doi: 10.1176/appi.pn.2018.4a7
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