Faster federal death penalty pursued

Charles Fain Lehman of the Washington Free Beacon reports interesting developments linked to the federal government’s use of capital punishment.

The Trump administration is pushing for legislation that would accelerate certain federal death penalty cases.

The new legislation is expected around Labor Day, according to Attorney General William P. Barr, and will specifically expedite the use of the death penalty for offenders who murder police officers or commit mass murders.

Speaking before the Fraternal Order of Police’s biennial conference on Monday, Barr told the assembled officers that his office was well aware of a recent increase in assaults on police officers, and emphasized that the administration “will not tolerate violence against police.”

“We were all nauseated by the spectacle of prancing punks pelting New York police officers with water and plastic buckets,” Barr said, according to his released remarks. “Unfortunately, these were not isolated events. From 2014 through 2017, there has been a 20 percent increase in assaults against police, up to about 60,000 per year.”

This is why, according to Barr, the White House expects to roll out its new proposal for an expedited death penalty for cop killers. …

… Barr’s announcement follows his official reinstatement of the federal death penalty in July, following nearly two decades of a de facto pause. The first of the five executions initially ordered by Barr are expected to take place later this year, reflecting President Donald Trump’s staunch support for the death penalty.

In addition to expedited executions for mass murderers and cop killers, Trump has also called for death eligibility for federal hate crime offenders—presumably only those who commit homicide, as the death penalty is generally not applicable to non-homicide offenders.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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