The Trump administration is seeking to execute as many people as they possibly can before leaving office, and some of the executions have already taken place.
There was a 17-year pause on federal executions in the United States until this summer when the Trump Administration resumed the practice.
Over the summer, seven people were executed since the rules were changed.
There hadn’t been a federal execution since 2003 until the Trump administration took office. Before 2003, only three people had been executed by the federal government in the past 50 years, according to the Bureau of Prisons data.
Democrats have suggested that Trump is rushing executions because Biden has promised to end capital punishment.
If all of the planned executions go forward, Trump will have overseen more executions than any other president in US history, with 13 executions since July. Among those scheduled to be executed is Lisa Montgomery, the first woman to be put to death in 67 years.
Alfred Bourgeois, 56, was executed Friday, the second execution by the Trump administration in two days. Three more are planned before Biden takes office. pic.twitter.com/UTdbn2dFIJ
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 12, 2020
Despite his terrible record on criminal justice, president-elect Joe Biden promises that he will eliminate capital punishment.
The polling organization Gallup has monitored support for the death penalty in the United States since 1937 by asking “Are you in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder?”
Gallup surveys documented a sharp increase in support for capital punishment between 1966 and 1994.
However, support began to fall from 80% in 1994 to 56% in 2019. Experts credit this change in attitude to a large number of exonerations for death row inmates that took place when DNA technology was able to prove their innocence.
DNA evidence proved how many people were in jail for crimes they didn’t commit and it made people think twice about supporting the death penalty.
'This rush for executions before Trump leaves office… shows a bright light on what's wrong with it in the first place'
— ITV News (@itvnews) December 12, 2020
In November 2009, another Gallup poll found that 77% of Americans believed that the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, should receive the death penalty if convicted, which was 12 points higher than the rate of general support for the death penalty on other surveys.
A similar result was found in 2001 when a poll asked about the execution of Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.
Two black men, Alfred Bourgeois and Brandon Bernard have been executed in the past week.
Since executions were reintroduced in the United States in 1977, nearly 300 Black defendants have been executed for the murder of a white victim, while only 21 white defendants have been executed for the murder of a Black victim, according to a Death Penalty Information Center report released in September.
Furthermore, since 1973, there have been 172 people who were sentenced to death and later found to be wrongfully convicted.
There are currently 53 people on federal death row.
Let’s talk about Trump’s parting execution spree.
His Justice Department is violating longstanding norms to execute a historic number of federal inmates before he leaves office. pic.twitter.com/SN0MKNGObc
— The Recount (@therecount) December 11, 2020