Attorney General William Barr on Thursday reinstated the federal death penalty, which lapsed 20 years ago, and immediately scheduled executions for five federal death row inmates convicted of murdering children and the elderly, while promising more to come.
According to a Justice Department announcement, Barr directed Hugh Hurwitz, the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons, to adopt the revision to the Federal Execution Protocol, a maneuver that “[clears] the way for the federal government to resume capital punishment after a nearly two decade lapse, and bringing justice to victims of the most horrific crimes.”
I think it’s important to note the message being sent here.
The first five scheduled for execution are all convicted child killers.
Is that coincidental?
Here they are:
… killed a woman and her grandaughter within the Navajo Nation of Arizona. “Mr. Mitchell and a friend were hitchhiking near the border with New Mexico when they were picked up by the 63-year-old grandmother, Alyce Slim, who was with her granddaughter, Tiffany Lee, according to The Santa Fe New Mexican.
The two men stabbed her to death and then killed her granddaughter after forcing the child to sit near her grandmother’s body while they drove 30 to 40 miles, according to the Justice Department. They later used the grandmother’s truck in a robbery, The New Mexican reported.”
Mr. Purkey, of Lansing, Kan., kidnapped a 16-year-old girl, Jennifer Long, in Kansas City, Mo., and brought her to his house, where he raped her repeatedly and, after killing her, dismembered and burned her body.
Months before that murder, Mr. Purkey had used a hammer to kill Mary Bales, an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio. It was after he was convicted of that slaying in state court that he began talking about killing the teenager, and eventually confessed, although he retracted his admission once prosecutors sought the death penalty, according to The Star.
Daniel Lee, a white supremacist who lived in Oklahoma, was convicted in 1999 of murdering an Arkansas gun dealer, William Mueller, as well as his wife, Nancy Mueller, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell.
Mr. Lee broke into the family’s home in Tilly, Ark., in January 1996 with an accomplice, Chevie Kehoe, and together they suffocated the family before throwing them into the Illinois Bayou, according to the Justice Department. The bodies were not found until June, when a woman who was fishing discovered a shoe and a bone.
Mr. Bourgeois, a trucker from La Place, La., was sentenced to death in 2004 after he was convicted of murdering his 2-year-old daughter at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, making it a federal crime.
At his trial, eight people who knew Mr. Bourgeois, including family members, said they had been threatened or assaulted by him, according to The Plainview Daily Herald in Texas. They said he had tortured and repeatedly beaten his daughter, referred to as “JG” in court documents, in the months before killing her in June 2002.
Mr. Honken, of Mason City, Iowa, killed five people in 1993 with the help of his girlfriend, who was once one of only two women on federal death row.
Described as the kingpin of a methamphetamine operation, Mr. Honken killed two men who were fellow drug dealers, Terry DeGeus and Gregory Nicholson, as well as Mr. Nicholson’s girlfriend, Lori Duncan, and her two daughters, ages 6 and 10.
The Trump Administration is staying true to its promise to stand for America’s Child Victims
Is it ironic that the first 5 death row inmates were all child killers?
But I don’t think so.
There is some talk that Trump is trying to send a message to Jeffrey Epstein and his ilk.
I think that might be a bit too conspiratorial for me, because Trump has already sent that message loud and clear.
But I do think the message is being sent to child killers.
The Week has this:
The Justice Department has announced that the federal death penalty will be reinstated more than 15 years after the last federal execution.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has, at Attorney General William Barr’s direction, scheduled executions for five death-row inmates convicted of murder for December and January, and additional federal executions will be later scheduled, the Justice Department said in a statement. The last federal execution took place in 2003, NBC News reports.
“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,” Barr said on Thursday. “…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.”
President Trump has previously expressed support for capital punishment and earlier this year tweeted his disapproval when the governor of California paused the use of the death penalty in the state, with Trump writing, “Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!” The Justice Department’s announcement quickly earned pushback from 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who tweeted, “There’s enough violence in the world. The government shouldn’t add to it. When I am president, we will abolish the death penalty.”
Maybe that’s why you will never be president Bernie.
Our nation’s children are our lifeblood and future.
Anyone who hurts them should be severely punished.
Kudos to Trump and Barr.