The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday reinstated a two-decades-long dormant policy allowing the federal government’s use of capital punishment and immediately scheduled the executions for five death row federal inmates.
“Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people’s representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the President,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.
“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.”
The Justice Department said it has scheduled executions for five federal inmates who have been convicted of horrific murders and sex crimes, with more planned in the future.
All five will be executed by lethal injection using a single drug: pentobarbital.
The federal inmates include Daniel Lewis Lee, a white supremacist who was convicted in Arkansas for murdering a family of three, including an 8-year-old girl.
Another is Lezmond Mitchell, a Native American who was found guilty by a jury in Arizona of stabbing a 63-year-old grandmother and forcing her young granddaughter to sit next to her lifeless body on a car journey before slitting the girl’s throat.
The other three inmates who will be executed are Wesley Ira Purkey, who raped and murdered a teenaged girl; Alfred Bourgeois, who sexually molested and killed his young daughter; and Dustin Lee Honken, who shot and killed five people.
Lee will be the first one to be executed, with the date set for Dec. 9, 2019.
Full story at Reuters.