• Lauren S.

Federal Resumption Has Changed Modern Use of the Death Penalty

This year, the United States Federal Government under the direction of Attorney General William Barr and President Trump resumed federal executions. From July 14th to August 24th 2020, they executed seven individuals from federal death row.

Death Penalty Information Center has been tracking information on the use of the federal death penalty during this time. It is important to note that none of the prisoners executed during the federal government’s execution spree had been sentenced to death for killing an African-American victim.

The amount of federal executions this year is unprecedented in the modern era of capital punishment. Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty along with supporters to end the death penalty have held statewide execution watches and vigils for all seven men who were executed from federal death row, as well as all victims of the death penalty. Below are images from a protest and vigil held on September 24th for Christopher Vialva.

Over the course of the last three months, these 7 federal executions mark a tragic turn toward a continued cycle of violence perpetrated by the current administration. Valuing violence and retribution over restorative justice and healing prolongs the pain of all who are involved in the system of the death penalty. We will continue to work toward ending the death penalty in Missouri, highlighting the severe disparities that exist in who’s lives are valued and who’s are not by the courts and in society.

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