Ayanna Pressley calls on Joe Biden to issue an executive order ending the federal death penalty.
Ayanna Pressley, a Democratic Representative from Massachusetts, has encouraged President Joe Biden to take steps to abolish the federal death sentence.
The Democratic lawmaker told MSBNC’s American Voices anchor Alicia Menendez on Sunday that the Department of Justice’s newly enforced ban on federal executions was “a step in the right way.”
After an unprecedented flurry of executions in the closing months of Donald Trump’s administration, despite the escalating coronavirus pandemic, Attorney General Merrick Garland stated in early July that federal executions would be halted while the agency performs a review of its policies and procedures.
The move is “welcome” and “overdue,” according to Pressley, but legislation is needed to ensure that future presidents do not just resume executions.
In early 2021, she introduced the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act of 2021 in the House. According to Pressley, the bill has more than 90 co-sponsors and has been endorsed by more than 250 organizations.
She went on to say, “State-sanctioned murder is not justice.” “We must enact a bill abolishing the federal death penalty so that it will not be restored by a future president.”
“In the closing days of Donald Trump’s presidency, he went on a killing spree, and in those final days, more people were executed than in the previous six decades.”
Biden should also commute the sentences of those on federal death row via executive order, according to Pressley.
“We should tell DOJ prosecutors not to seek the capital penalty any longer, and we should dismantle and close the Terre Haute death row facility,” she continued.
Biden, a death penalty opponent, pledged on his campaign website to try “to pass legislation to repeal the death penalty at the federal level, and incentivize states to follow the federal government’s example.”
However, campaigners were unhappy when the president refused to act in his first 100 days in office, and the Biden administration recently requested the United States Supreme Court to reinstate the original death sentence for the Boston Marathon bomber.
Garland’s examination of processes put in place by former Attorney General William Barr is identical to one ordered during Barack Obama’s presidency. Obama directed the Department of Justice to conduct a broad review of capital punishment and related issues. This is a condensed version of the information.