US government orders first federal executions since 2003

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[BBC] The US federal government is to resume executing death-row inmates after a 16-year hiatus, the justice department has announced.

Attorney General William Barr said in a statement he had directed the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to schedule the executions of five inmates.

Mr Barr said the five had been convicted of murders or rapes of children or the elderly.

The executions have been scheduled for December 2019 and January 2020.

“Under administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals,” Mr Barr said in a statement. “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.”

The announcement lifts what was an informal moratorium on the federal death penalty since the 2003 execution of Louis Jones Jr, a 53-year-old a Gulf War veteran, for the kidnap and murder of 19-year-old soldier Tracie Joy McBride.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49118134