Lawmakers Seek to End Death Penalty
The House of Representatives proposed a bill that seeks to end the use of the death penalty.
The Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act proposes that “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may be sentenced to death or put to death on or after the date of enactment of this Act for any violation of Federal law.”
There are 30 states in the U.S. that allow death penalty executions.
Following three federal executions that occurred last week in Indiana, members of The Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty have called for state legislators to end executions carried out by the state.
This is not the first time there has been pushback against the death penalty.
“The American Civil Liberties Union believes the death penalty inherently violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantees of due process of law and of equal protection under the law,” The American Civil Liberties Union said.
“Furthermore, we believe that the state should not give itself the right to kill human beings – especially when it kills with premeditation and ceremony, in the name of the law or in the name of its people, and when it does so in an arbitrary and discriminatory fashion.”
Many, including the ACLU, claimed the death penalty disproportionately affects people of color.
“People of color are far more likely to be executed than white people, especially if the victim is white,” the ACLU said.
The executions of Lisa Montgomery, Corey Johnson and Dustin Higgs that occurred last week in Indiana were the three final executions of the outgoing Trump administration.
President-elect Joe Biden has claimed that he seeks to end the death penalty during his term.
“Over 160 individuals who’ve been sentenced to death in this country since 1973 have later been exonerated … These individuals should instead serve life sentences without probation or parole,” Biden’s website read.
In addition to the death penalty, Biden’s website explains other reforms of the criminal justice system that the President-elect seeks to enact.
Among those goals are to stop corporations from profiteering off of incarceration and expanding the power of the U.S. Justice Department to address systemic misconduct in police departments and prosecutors’ offices.