Will Federal Executions End Now That Biden is President?


Photo found at thehill.com

More than 40 lawmakers signed onto a letter last week urging Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for Attorney General, to make abolishing the death penalty a priority if he is confirmed.

According to Time.com, “Joe Biden is the first president in U.S. history to openly campaign on abolishing the death penalty and win. Now that he’s in the White House, pressure is already mounting from activists and lawmakers for him to fulfill that promise.” People want to know, will Federal executions end now that Biden is President?

Now, what even are federal executions? Federal executions are executions that are mainly done by lethal injection. Though back in the 20th century, they used other forms of executions like hanging, electrocution and gas inhalation. Here is a timeline of federal executions: www.bop.gov/about/history/federal_executions.jsp. There were no Federal Executions between March 2003 and July 2020. There were 13 Federal executions between July 2020 and January 2021, during Trump’s time in office as President.

Is this Death Penalty system unconstitutional or constitutional? Well since this is an opinion piece, I do believe that federal executions are unconstitutional. Though this is what I believe, the main reason this system was abolished was because of the Supreme Court’s opinion on Furman v. Georgia. A case in which the Court found that the death penalty constituted cruel and unusual punishment in the case of an accidental burglary death. If you are on trial where the death penalty is an option, you probably did something bad, like kill someone, but that doesn’t mean you should die, too. That is just more killing.

Only time will tell if Biden can keep his campaign promises to abolish the death penalty. If Virginia is any indicator of what will happen on the Federal level, there is a good chance. Last Monday, a Virginia Senate Committee “approved a bill to abolish the death penalty in the Commonwealth, moving forward a measure that Gov. Ralph Northam has said he would sign into law.” Virginia has executed more people than any other state. Whether in the State or Federal court, it’s a cycle of death and it has to be stopped.