Why Does Bill Barr want To Kill… Inmates Without Due Process? Why Does Trump Want Him To Do So? Who ARE These Barbarians?

In practical terms, prior to Trump, the federal death penalty had essentially ceased to exist, for a decade or more.

In fact, in the last 50 years, it has been only in the times of GOP presidents that we’ve see attempts to execute humans, at the federal level.

Then came Bill Barr — and Donald Trump. This past summer, they tried to restart the machinery of death, at the federal level. Thursday, per the LA Times. . . a federal judge enjoined Messrs. Barr, and Trump — nationwide. Here’s the very cogently reasoned DC District opinion, in full — and a bit:

. . . .As [Trump’s lawyers] interpret § 3596(a), Congress only gave the states the authority to decide the “method” of execution, e.g., whether to use lethal injection or an alternative, not the authority to decide additional procedural details such as the substance to be injected or the safeguards taken during the injection.

The court finds this reading implausible.

First, the statute does not refer to the “method” of execution, a word with particular meaning in the death penalty context. See id. Instead, it requires that the “implementation” of a death sentence be done in the “manner” prescribed by the state of conviction. Id. “Manner” means “a mode of procedure or way of acting.” Manner, MERRIAM-WEBSTER’S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY 756 (11th ed. 2014.) The statute’s use of the word “manner” thus includes not just execution method but also execution procedure. To adopt [Barr’s and Trump’s] interpretation of “manner” would ignore its plain meaning. As one district court concluded, “the implementation of the death sentence [under the FDPA] involves a process which includes more than just the method of execution utilized.” United States v. Hammer, 121 F. Supp. 2d 794, 798 (M.D. Pa. 2000). . . .

Indeed. Since I was fourteen, and for all of my adult life, I have held the view of Justice Blackmun — we should tinker no more with the machinery of death — it cannot be administered fairly, or dispassionately. It is barbarous; it deters. . . nothing. Most important of all, it simply never will bring a murder victim back, to life.


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