Thursday morning (July 25) Attorney General Bill Barr announced the federal government would resume executions.
In the announcement, the Department of Justice revealed the dates for the executions were being finalized and that the “five death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society — children and the elderly.”
One of the inmates is reportedly a white supremacist who murdered a family of three in 1999 and threw their dead bodies into the Illinois Bayou in Arkansas. Another inmate callously stabbed a 63-year-old grandmother to death and made her granddaughter sit next to her dead body for “30 to 40-mile drive” before killing her as well.
“The Justice Department upholds the rule of law — and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system,” Barr said in the announcement.
The DOJ said in a statement all executions will take place inside the U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute in Indiana, but did not specify if they would happen before the end of the year. Upon learning of the reinstatement of capital punishment, Amnesty International released a statement denouncing the decision.
“The Trump administration’s decision to restart federal executions after a 16-year hiatus is outrageous. It is the latest indication of this administration’s disdain for human rights,” Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA executive director, said in a statement.
Capital punishment is a hot button issue in the country. In late May New Hampshire banned the death penalty, while in March California announced a moratorium.