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U.S. To Continue Executions Through Transition In Break

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The Justice Department is proceeding with plans for more federal executions in the closing days of President Trump's administration, including two scheduled shortly before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Attorney General William Barr announced the moves, connected with what he called "staggeringly brutal murders," in a statement late Friday. The Justice Department said the directives amounted to a continuation of its policy since last year when it relaunched federal executions after an informal moratorium that had been in place for 17 years. If the Justice Department plan moves forward, 13 people will have faced death by lethal injection during the Trump administration. Legal experts who follow capital punishment said that would be the most since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served 12 years in office before his death in 1945. RELATED |  U.S.: Barr's Justice Department Prepares To End Trump's Term With an Execution Spree Robert Du

Texas executes Danielle Simpson

A convicted killer who volunteered for execution but in recent weeks changed his mind has been put to death in Texas.

Thirty-year-old Danielle Simpson (left) received a lethal injection Wednesday evening for the abduction-slaying of an 84-year-old east Texas woman who was weighted down with a cinder block and thrown into a river.

Simpson had won approval from a federal court that he was competent to decide to drop his appeals. Then Simpson changed his mind and allowed lawyers to try to save him. Attorneys contended he was mentally ill.

He was condemned for the murder of Geraldine Davidson, a former school teacher and church organist abducted nearly 10 years ago during a burglary of her home in Palestine, about 100 miles southeast of Dallas.

Simpson was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m. Wednesday, nine minutes after a lethal dose of chemicals had been administered.

He became the 22nd person to be executed in Texas this year.

The 30-year-old Simpson, who was 20 at the time of the murder, gave a brief final statement.

"Yeah, I want to tell my family I love ya'll," said Simpson, strapped to a gurney. "Tell Kate I love her too. Tell brother, my kids I love ya'll. I'm gonna miss ya'll. I'm ready, ready."

Five members of Davidson's family witnessed the execution, while two of Simpson's sisters also were witnesses.

Read more: Danielle Simpson speaks about his nine-year term spent locked up in solitary.

Source: AP, Nov. 18, 2009

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