Attorney General William Barr, continuing to put distance between himself, Harry Daugherty and John Mitchell as the worst human being ever to hold that job, has decided that it's time to put the federal government back into the business of killing prisoners again. From NPR:
U.S. Attorney General William Barr has instructed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to change the federal execution protocol to include capital punishment, the Justice Department said. Barr also asked the prisons bureau to schedule the executions of five inmates who have been found guilty of murder. According to the DOJ, the victims in each case included children and the elderly. In some of the cases, the convicted murderers also tortured and raped their victims. "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 said in a statement.
Part of the reason the federal government hasn't killed one of its prisoners in 14 years is that providing the government with the poisons it needs to kill prisoners went sour in the consciences even of America's pharmaceutical companies, and that should give you pause. But, no worries, because Chief Chemist Bill Barr is on the job. From The New York Times:
Advocates and inmates argued in lawsuits against state and federal governments that the practice was inhumane, and many of them focused on botched executions where the drug cocktail used was ineffective or caused severe suffering before death. Nearly a decade ago, drugmakers in the United States and Europe stopped selling to the federal government the sedatives that it had long used to render prisoners unconscious before executing them. In at least one case, a prisoner regained consciousness during an execution in which an alternative sedative was used. On Thursday, Mr. Barr said that he had issued a protocol that replaces the three-drug procedure previously used in federal executions with a single drug, pentobarbital, which is widely available.
I admire Barr's thoroughness and consideration. He obviously has been studying the home office of American executions—Texas, where pentobarbital has been the cocktail of choice for a while now. Back in 2013, Texas had a shortage because, under international pressure, the Danish manufacturer that produced the drug declined to furnish it for the purpose for which Texas intended to use it. I'm sure that Barr's innate creativity for being a creature of our darker impulses will find away around that. I am so proud.
Respond to this post on the Esquire Politics Facebook page here.
You Might Also Like