The Trump Administration Is Bringing Back the Death Penalty


Seven years ago, Donald Trump tweeted his support for the death penalty.

And he hasn’t changed his mind.

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Trump has continued to tweet about supporting capital punishment after his 2016 election as president.

Although the severe punishment has always been controversial, Trump’s support for the death penalty has been unwavering. His view that capital punishment will help deter other violent crimes is at the core of his belief.

So it should be no surprise that Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, revealed Thursday morning that the Department of Justice is bringing back the death penalty on the federal level after years of hiatus.

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The DOJ announced in a statement that “Barr has directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to adopt a proposed Addendum to the Federal Execution Protocol — clearing 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.”

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The announcement is directly pointed to the demise of five of the most horrific offenders in the federal justice system. Barr directed “the Acting Director of the BOP, Hugh Hurwitz, to schedule the executions of five death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society — children and the elderly.”

“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 in the DOJ press release. “Under Administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals, including these five murderers, each of whom was convicted by a jury of his peers after a full and fair proceeding. 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.”

Barr’s orders resulted in the scheduled executions of five individuals.

The first scheduled execution is Daniel Lewis Lee.

Lee, according to the DOJ, is “a member of a white supremacist group who murdered a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl.”

The DOJ reports that after robbing and shooting the victims with a stun gun, Lee “covered their heads with plastic bags, sealed the bags with duct tape, weighed down each victim with rocks, and threw the family of three into the Illinois bayou” in Arkansas.

Lee’s execution is scheduled for Dec. 9.

The others set to be executed are Lezmond Mitchell, Wesley Ira Purkey, Alfred Bourgeois and Dustin Lee Honken.

All of those inmates have “exhausted their appellate and post-conviction remedies and currently no legal impediments prevent their executions, which will take place at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana,” the DOJ said. “Additional executions will be scheduled at a later date.”

Trump surely will take some heat for this move, but it makes a clear statement that lawless violence against the most innocent in our society will not be tolerated.

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G.S. Hair is the former executive editor of The Western Journal.
G.S. Hair is the former executive editor of The Western Journal and vice president of digital content of Liftable Media.

After graduating law school from the Cecil C. Humphries School of Law, Mr. Hair spent a decade as an attorney practicing at the trial and appellate level in Arkansas and Tennessee. He represented clients in civil litigation, contractual disputes, criminal defense and domestic matters. He spent a significant amount of time representing indigent clients who could not afford private counsel in civil or criminal matters. A desire for justice and fairness was a driving force in Mr. Hair's philosophy of representation. Inspired by Christ’s role as an advocate on our behalf before God, he often represented clients who had no one else to fight on their behalf.

Mr. Hair has been a consultant for Republican political candidates and has crafted grassroots campaign strategies to help mobilize voters in staunchly Democrat regions of the Eastern United States.

In early 2015, he began writing for Conservative Tribune. After the site was acquired by Liftable Media, he shut down his law practice, moved to Arizona and transitioned into the position of site director. He then transitioned to vice president of content. In 2018, after Liftable Media folded all its brands into The Western Journal, he was named executive editor. His mission is to advance conservative principles and be a positive and truthful voice in the media.

He is married and has four children. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
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