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Trump's last days in office marred by disregard for human life. Death penalty just another example.

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Trump reinstated federal executions after nearly 20 years, with two slated for this week. When will the U.S. drop the practice and join other Western nations? If there's one thing that has defined the final days of the Trump administration, it's the lack of regard for human life. We saw that play out Wednesday after President Donald Trump incited rioters to bust through the U.S. Capitol and hunt down members of Congress.  Inciting a violent assault on the Capitol also displayed a disregard for democracy and the rule of law. This was the tragic finale of four years of failed federal leadership, and far from the only instance where the president’s disdain for human life has been demonstrated. His abject failure to provide the leadership necessary to deal effectively with the COVID-19 pandemic is beyond dispute, with the consequence being that the daily death count from COVID-19 has now surpassed that of 9/11. In the face of these unfolding tragedies, and at a time when the Trump

Boston Marathon Bomber Appeal Is Early Biden Test on Death Penalty

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President-elect Joe Biden says he’s against the death penalty now. A case involving the surviving Boston Marathon bomber waiting for him on Day One will test if he means it. The Justice Department under President Donald Trump is petitioning the Supreme Court to reinstate the death sentences of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who won an appeals court ruling last year. The high court will next consider whether to grant review of the government’s appeal in private conference on Friday, after not acting on the petition when it was first up for consideration last week. The Supreme Court could announce as soon as Friday that it’s granting review; it could also deny to take it up in an orders list on Tuesday, or again take no action. Whatever the justices do, Biden’s administration will be confronted as soon as he takes office Jan. 20 with how to handle the case against one of the men responsible for the 2013 deadly bombing. Tsarnaev’s 2015 capital prosecution occurred during Biden’s vice presidential ten

USA | The administration’s six month reign of death: Opinion

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Only five states carried out a total of seven executions across the United States last year. That is the fewest state executions in nearly 40 years. However, that is not the full story when it comes to the death penalty in America. In the second half of 2020, in the midst of a pandemic and a reelection campaign, the Trump Administration decided to get back into the act of executing federal prisoners. After going 17 years without carrying out an execution the federal government carried out 10 executions in less than six months. By the end of 2020, the federal government had conducted more executions in five months than any other presidency since the turn of the 20th century, and scheduled more executions during a presidential transition period than any other administration in the history of the United States - knowing President-elect Joe Biden campaigned on abolishing the federal death penalty. Whether it was a ploy to bolster his tough guy bona fides or a lowbrow pitch to his “law and

USA | Federal Government Executes Corey Johnson, Who was Likely Intellectually Disabled, Without Any Judicial Review of His Eligibility for the Death Penalty

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For the second time in less than five weeks, the federal government has executed a death-row prisoner who likely was intellectually disabled, without affording him judicial review to determine his eligibility for the death penalty. Corey Johnson (pictured) was pronounced dead from lethal injection at 11:34 p.m. on January 14, 2021, the 12th federal prisoner executed in six months and the fifth in the transition period between Donald Trump’s defeat in the November 2020 presidential election and the scheduled inauguration of Joseph R. Biden on January 20, 2021. The only other time in U.S. history that as many as five transition-period executions took place was in 1884-1885 during the transition between Chester A. Arthur and the first presidency of Grover Cleveland. In an order issued at 10:00 p.m., four hours after Johnson was scheduled to be executed, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Johnson’s emergency application for a stay of execution to permit him to present evidence that the constitu

Iran | Two Brothers Executed in Ardebil

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Iran Human Rights (IHR); January 14, 2021: Two brothers who were sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for “premeditated murder” during a group fight, have been executed at Ardebil Central Prison. According to Iran Human Rights, two male prisoners were executed in the early hours of Wednesday, January 13.  In the same case, the two brothers had been arrested and convicted of “premeditated murder” during a group fight and sentenced to death around five years ago. Their identities have been established as Mehdi Feyzi and Moharam Feyzi, who were both around 40 years of age. At the time of writing, their executions have not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran. According to Iran Human Rights’ annual report, at least 225 of the 280 of those executed in 2019 were charged with "premeditated murder." As there are no legal distinctions made between murder and manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary in Iran.  Those charged under the umbrella term of “premedita

USA | D.C. judges order Maryland man’s federal execution to go forward on Friday; Supreme Court rejects first of his two appeals

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A back-and-forth legal battle continued into the final hours before Dustin Higgs, 48, convicted in a triple murder in Prince George’s County in 1996, is scheduled to be executed Friday, which would make him the last federal inmate to be put to death under President Donald Trump as he leaves office. Higgs’ fate now lies with the U.S. Supreme Court, which Thursday night rejected one of two pending appeals to spare his life. The high court lifted a delay granted by a federal judge in Washington earlier in the week to Higgs and another federal inmate, Corey Johnson, 52, due to their diagnoses of COVID-19. Johnson, convicted of murdering seven people in Virginia, was executed at 11:34 p.m. Thursday , according to The Associated Press.  Higgs has another case remaining before the Supreme Court. RELATED |  Dustin Higgs, The Last Man To Be Executed In Terre Haute, Maintains His Innocence As with previous death penalty cases, the three liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena

Belarus | First death sentence passed in 2021

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The following article has been Google translated from Uktainian. In Belarus, for the first time in 2021, the death penalty was handed down. Viktor Skrundzyk was sentenced to death in Slutsk. This was reported by the human rights organization " Viasna ". The decision was made by the Minsk Regional Court of Slutsk on January 15.  Skrundzik and three of his accomplices were found guilty of killing two retirees and attempting to kill an 85-year-old woman.  Two accomplices received 22 and 18 years of strict regime colonies, another - a year of work with the payment of 10% of wages. Skrundzik was first sentenced to death last year. However, in the fall, the Supreme Court overturned the decision and remanded the case for retrial. At the same time, human rights activists noted that in Belarus the death penalty is rarely imposed if the panel of the Supreme Court overturns the previous sentence. Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko has previously declared that the death penalty can b

USA | Federal government executes Corey Johnson following prolonged legal fight

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Corey Johnson was executed by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, and was pronounced dead at 11:34 p.m. ET on Thursday. Johnson was sentenced to die after he was convicted of killing 7 people in 1992 as a part of the drug trade in Virginia. The weeks preceding his execution were defined by a tense legal battle after he contracted Covid-19 while on death row.  In his final statement, Johnson apologized for his crimes and told the families of the victims that he hoped they would find peace. He also thanked the staff at the prison, the prison's chaplain, his minister and his legal team.  "I would have said I was sorry before, but I didn't know how. I hope you will find peace," he said, according to a statement released by his lawyers. "To my family, I have always loved you, and your love has made me real. On the streets, I was looking for shortcuts, I had some good role models, I was side tracking, I was blind and stupid. I

A $6,300 bus. A $33 last meal. What New Documents Tell Us About Trump's Execution Spree

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Feds spent millions to restart the death penalty and in the process revealed much about how they do it. When Scott Mueller drove to Indiana in July to see Daniel Lewis Lee die, he stayed at a Holiday Inn. The hotel was nice enough, and only a 10-minute drive from the federal execution chamber in Terre Haute where the man who killed Mueller’s father would take his last breath. The two-night hotel stay cost around $200, and the tab was picked up by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It amounted to a small fraction of the more than $107,000 the agency spent on hotels for the witnesses and staff who flocked to western Indiana last summer for the federal government’s first executions in nearly two decades. A review of the expenses for five executions in July and August—including at least $9,376 for plane tickets and rental vans, more than $25,000 for kosher food and roughly $6,590 for tents—paints a stark and intimate picture of the practicalities of death, shedding light on a secretive process

Editorial | The Guardian view on Trump's executions: vicious to the end

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The federal execution of a woman who was mentally ill was the act of a morally bankrupt administration In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Lisa Montgomery became the first woman to be put to death by the United States government for almost seven decades. At the Indiana penitentiary where she was executed by lethal injection, there are no facilities for female prisoners. So during prolonged legal wrangling over her fate, Montgomery was cruelly placed in a holding cell in the execution-chamber building itself. Her crime was horrific. In 2004, Montgomery strangled a young woman, Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant. She then cut a baby girl from her womb, and attempted to pass her off as her own. The pain and suffering of Ms Stinnett’s family can barely be imagined. But the political context of this week’s execution, and overwhelming evidence of Montgomery’s longstanding mental illness, suggests a gross miscarriage of justice has taken place. Issuing a stay of execution

Virginia lawmakers introduce bill to abolish death penalty

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The state has executed 113 people since 1976. Virginia state lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday that would abolish the state's death penalty. Virginia House of Delegates member Mike Mullin and state Sen. Scott Surovell introduced bills to their respective houses that would abolish the death penalty and convert existing capital sentences to sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Mullin said in a statement that the use of capital punishment "is flawed with wrongful convictions, inadequate representation, geographic disparity, and racial bias." "It is not a crime deterrent, but instead perpetuates a culture of violence that does not belong in the Commonwealth," he said in a statement. As of October 2020, Virginia had executed 113 people since 1973, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit that tracks death row inmates. Only Texas has had more executions during that period, with 570, according to the