‘Squad’ members rip Trump death-penalty ‘carnage,’ urge Biden to commute killers’ sentences

‘Squad’ members rip Trump death-penalty ‘carnage,’ urge Biden to commute killers’ sentences

All
49
remaining
death-row
inmates
in
federal
prisons
should
have
their
sentences
commuted
by President
Biden,
two
members
of
the
progressive

“Squad”
group
of
Democrats
urged
Friday.

The
demand
by U.S.
Reps.

Ayanna
Pressley,
D-Mass.,
and

Cori
Bush,
D-Mo., came
in
a
letter
sent
to
Biden
that
was
also
signed
by 35
other
Democrats,
including
Reps.

Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez,
D-N.Y.,
and

Rashida
Tlaib,
D-Mich.

It
was
a
reaction
to
the
Trump
administration’s
revival
of
federal
executions
after
a
nearly
two-decade
hiatus
that
resulted
in
13
executions
carried
out
in
the
final
months
of
former

President
Donald
Trump’s
term
in
office.

“We
believe
that
rebuilding
the
dignity
of
America
requires
that
we
recommit
ourselves
to
the
tradition
of
due
process,
mercy,
and
judicial
clemency
when
it
comes
to
matters
related
to
the
criminal
legal
system,”
the
Democrats’
letter
to
Biden
began.
“For
this
reason,
we
urge
you
to
immediately
commute
the
sentences
of
all
those
on
death
row.”

U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., speaks in Washington, Aug. 28, 2020. (Getty Images)

U.S.
Rep.
Ayanna
Pressley,
D-Mass.,
speaks
in
Washington,
Aug.
28,
2020.
(Getty
Images)

The
congresswomen
said
they
appreciated
Biden’s
“vocal
opposition
to
the
death
penalty
and
urge
you
to
take
swift,
decisive
action.”


CORI
BUSH
EXPRESSES
SYMPATHY
FOR
WHITE
SUPREMACIST,
MURDERERS
IN
ANTI-DEATH
PENALTY
TWEET:
‘SAY
THEIR
NAMES’

Biden’s
campaign
website
says
his
administration
would
“work
to
pass
legislation
to
eliminate
the
death
penalty
at
the
federal
level
and
incentivize”
states
to
follow
suit.

The
Democrats
claimed
in
the
letter
that
President
Trump
left
behind
a
legacy
of
“carnage
and
unrestrained
violence”
because
of
the
number
of
executions
in
the
last
months
of
his
presidency.

Then-Attorney
General
William
Barr
announced
in
July
2019
the
government
would
resume
federal
executions
for
the
first
time
in
17
years. 

In
recent
weeks,
those
executed
have
included

Corey
Johnson,
a
Virginia
man
linked
to
seven
murders,
and

Lisa
Montgomery,
who
was
convicted
on
charges
that
she
strangled
a
pregnant
woman
and
used
a
kitchen
knife
to
remove
the
baby
from
the
victim’s
womb.

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., is seen in St Louis, Aug. 5, 2020. (Reuters)

U.S.
Rep.
Cori
Bush,
D-Mo.,
is
seen
in
St
Louis,
Aug.
5,
2020.
(Reuters)

Trump
voiced
support
for
restoring
the
death
penalty
long
before
he
became
president.

“Either
it
will
be
brought
back
swiftly
or
our
society
will
rot
away,”
Trump
told
Playboy
magazine
in
1990,
according
to
The
Associated
Press.


DUSTIN
HIGGS
EXECUTED
IN
13TH
CAPITAL
PUNISHMENT
UNDER
TRUMP
ADMINISTRATION
SINCE
JULY 

For
the
country
to
find
“accountability
and
healing,”
the
Democrats
wrote,
 Americans
much
“first
acknowledge
the
moral
depravity
of
federal
executions.”

The
congresswomen
advocated
for
a
justice
system
that
seeks
to
“rehabilitate
and
restore”
rather
than
“penalize
and
execute.”

“Like
slavery
and
lynching
did
before
it,
the
death
penalty
perpetuates
cycles
of
trauma,
violence
and
state-sanctioned
murder
in
Black
and
brown
communities,”
they

wrote.


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Pressley
sent
a
similar

letter to
Biden
before
he
took
office
in
December,
writing
that
his
“historic
election
with
record
turnout
represents
a
national
mandate
to
make
meaningful
progress
in
reforming
our
unjust
and
inhumane
criminal
legal
system.”


The
Associated
Press
contributed
to
this
story.

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