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Attorney General William Barr revealed the Justice Department is resuming executions of federal prisoners on death row – after a nearly 20-year hiatus.
Barr has immediately scheduled executions for five killers convicted of butchering children and senior citizens. The attorney general promises more will come. (The Daily Caller)
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.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there are currently 62 federal death-row inmates. One of those is Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston on June 17, 2015. He was sentenced to death on Jan. 10, 2017.
The five inmates set for immediate execution include:
- White supremacist Daniel Lewis Lee, who butchered an African American family
- Lezmond Mitchell, who brutally murdered a grandmother and her granddaughter
- Wesley Ira Purkey, a serial killer who violently raped at least one of his victims
- Alfred Bourgeois, who prosecutors convicted of sexually molesting, torturing, and beating his two-year-old daughter to death
- Dustin Lee Honken who shot and killed five people, including two men planning to testify against him