Supreme Court Gives Go-Ahead to Resume Federal Executions
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Supreme Court's rejection of a challenge to new federal death penalty protocols is a win for the Trump administration and paves the way for the federal government to resume executions next month for the first time in two decades.
The justices refused to hear an appeal from four inmates who were convicted of killing children, according to anti-death penalty organizer Abe Bonowitz. He said the decision is a step backward for all inmates on death row and\ that it reinforces what many call an immoral system of punishment.
"As a person who used to support the death penalty, I tried to prove that the system worked," Bonowitz said. "And in trying to prove that it worked, I found out and proved to myself that we have a public policy that is failing us on economic, moral, social and legal grounds."
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor noted they would have blocked the executions from going forward. Now the four inmates will face execution starting in mid-July.
Bonowitz said the decision is especially significant now as people across the country are demanding that leaders rethink crime, punishment and justice in light of George Floyd's death at the hands of a white police officer.
Bonowitz, whose group is part of a coalition holding an annual vigil against the death penalty outside the Supreme Court this week, said reports show that racial discrimination plays a major role in capital-punishment cases.
"When the victim was a person of color, the government is much less likely to seek a death sentence in the case," he said. "When the person who is the victim in a crime was a white person, especially if they were white women, then they're more likely to seek the death sentence in a case."
While more states have abolished the death penalty in recent years, Virginia has not. The Commonwealth has executed nearly 1,400 people in its 412-year history - more than any other state.
get more stories like this via email
BOISE, Idaho -- Wildfires are affecting air quality across the West, bringing hidden dangers in smoke that can harm people's health. The Boise-based …
DENVER -- The days of exponentially high increases in health-insurance costs may finally be in the rearview mirror. The Colorado Division of …
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cultural institutions in the U.S. are facing scrutiny to be more accessible and inclusive. The organization in charge of Iowa's …
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Last month's deadly heat wave in the Northwest underscored the need to reduce carbon emissions, but advocates want to ensure low-…
MINOT, N.D. -- Many arguments are being floated about legislation before Congress that would bring big changes to U.S. labor laws. The bill has its …
Health and Wellness
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Health-care advocates called on Missouri lawmakers to allocate funds for Medicaid expansion right away, after the state …
AUGUSTA, Maine -- School meals in Maine will be free for all students again this year and into the future, but parents are being urged to fill out …
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A report outlines how federal efforts to bring solar energy to one in four American households could bring clean energy to …