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USA | Biden to work to end executions as government sets 3 more

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Joe Biden is against the death penalty and will work to end its use, his spokesman said Saturday, as the Justice Department scheduled three more federal executions during before the Jan. 20 inauguration, including two shortly before he is set to take office. The Bureau of Prisons on Thursday carried out the eighth federal execution this year , after a 17-year hiatus, and it is likely to increase pressure on Biden decide whether his administration would continue to schedule executions once he is sworn in.  Advocacy groups have called on the Trump administration to pause all executions until Biden takes office. Biden "opposes the death penalty now and in the future," press secretary TJ Ducklo said. He did not say whether executions would be paused immediately once Biden takes office. Federal executions resumed this year despite the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 250,000 people and is raging inside the nation's prison system

China: Four executed for drug trafficking

Chinese police officers
rehearsing execution procedure
June 26, 2012: China executed four convicted drug traffickers and sentenced at least 15 others to death as the nation marked global anti-drug day, state press reported.

Courts in four Chinese provinces sentenced a total of 117 people for drug trafficking on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Xinhua news agency said.

Three Taiwanese men - Chen Tien-lu, Hsu Fu-tai and Wang Chen-tsung - were executed in southeast China's Fujian province after being convicted of smuggling methamphetamine, also known as ice, across the Taiwan strait, the report said.

Another man was executed in northeast China's Jilin province after being convicted of trafficking four kilogrammes (8.8 pounds) of the same substance, it said.

Of the 15 convicted drug traffickers sentenced to death, nine were given a two-year reprieve, meaning their sentences will likely be commuted to life in prison if they behave during that period.

"Chinese courts nationwide have been carrying out public trials over drug trafficking or destroying drugs to make people aware of the harms of drugs," Xinhua said of the anti-drug day.

Sources: Agence France-Presse, Taipei Times, June 26, 2012

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