It’s sick. We knew something was up, but no one was expecting this. At least two new federal execution dates have been set, and maybe more. The night is yet young. However, we are ready.
Below is the press release we’ve just sent out, announcing our take on why this is happening, and the launching of Death Penalty Action’s new campaign to abolish the federal death penalty.
We’ve revised our federal death penalty action page, launched a new petition, and also a new organizational sign-on letter. Check the links in the press release below to sign and share the petition. If you are part of any sort of organization, business, civic group, faith community, etc., please ask leadership to sign on to the letter before the deadline!
Thank you for your support and all that you do.
Yours in the Struggle,
Abraham J. Bonowitz, Director
Death Penalty Action Press Release Issued at 5:41pm EDT on July 31, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 31, 2020
For More Information Contact: Abraham Bonowitz: 561–371–5204 — Abe@DeathPenaltyAction.org
President Trump schedules at least two more politically-motivated executions
Community launches new campaign to end death penalty
TERRE HAUTE, IN — “The reason President Trump has scheduled these executions are his ego and his re-election campaign, not to advance justice or help victims,” said Abraham Bonowitz, director of Death Penalty Action, in reaction to the delivery today of at least two more federal death row prisoners to the Death House at the federal prison in Terre Haute. “President Trump’s adminstration is completely ignoring murder victims’ families, who do not want their loved ones’ memories sullied by an execution. These prisoners and the families of the victims mean nothing to him. He just wants to be able to say he has executed more people than any president in well over half a century.”
With William LeCroy and Christopher Vialva receiving execution dates the week of September 22, Death Penalty Action today launched a national sign-on letter and a petition calling on Congress to investigate irregularities in how the July executions were carried through, and to stop future presidents from using executions for political purposes by ending the federal death penalty entirely. Additional information is here.
The first federal execution in 17 years was carried out on July 14, despite the strong objections of the family of the victims in the case. Earlier this week, the Trump Administration set August 26, 2020 as the date to execute the only Native American on the federal death row over the objections of the victim’s family and the Navajo Nation. Appeals in the case remain incomplete, with a stay in place from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, pending its order.
If the newly scheduled executions are carried out, the Trump Administration, under Attorney General William Barr, will have executed a total of 7 prisoners this election year. Chad Fulks also expects to receive his death warrant today, or soon, and it is rumoured that as many as six prisoners in total could get execution dates today and be moved to the Death House, according to persons in communication with the prisoners.
“President Trump’s campaign for re-election is scripting the timing of these executions, and anyone who looks at how this is playing out can see it,” said Bonowitz. “The body of Daniel Lee was barely cold before the Trump campaign blasted out an email on July 14, celebrating how tough the president is and challenging Joe Biden on the issue of capital punishment.
“The upcoming executions at the end of August are timed for right before the Republican National Convention, and there is no question that Donald Trump is using the power of the presidency to execute prisoners for political reasons,” said Bonowitz. “That is wrong, and that is why we are calling on Congress to investigate these executions, including the role of the Trump campaign, and the legal shenanigans we saw two weeks ago.
“We continue to call on Congress to end the federal death penalty and make it impossible for politicians to ever again use capital punishment as a political weapon.”
Death Penalty Action works to end capital punishment at the state and federal level. It is a leading organization among those convening protests at the site of federal executions in Terre Haute, IN, and at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC on August 28th in conjunction with a national March on Washington scheduled for that day.