In a statement from the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr reinstated the death penalty for the most horrific crimes.
After nearly a 20-year postponement, the Department of Justice has reinstated the death penalty. Barr also directed acting Director of Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Hugh Hurwitz to schedule executions for five death-row inmates at a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, in December 2019 and January 2020.
According to the press release, “Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people’s representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the president,” Barr said. “Under administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals, including these five murderers, each of whom was convicted by a jury of his peers after a full and fair proceeding. 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.”
Barr has directed the BOP to adopt a proposed Addendum to the Federal Execution Protocol—clearing the way for the federal government to resume capital punishment after a nearly two-decade lapse, and bringing justice to victims of the most horrific crimes.
The attorney general has further directed Hurwitz, to schedule the executions of five death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society—children and the elderly.
Scheduled for execution
Daniel Lewis Lee, a member of a white supremacist group, murdered a family of three, including an 8-year-old girl. Lee’s execution is scheduled to occur on Dec. 9, 2019.
Lezmond Mitchell stabbed to death a 63-year-old grandmother and forced her 9-year-old granddaughter to sit beside her lifeless body for a 30 to 40-mile drive. Mitchell’s execution is scheduled to occur on Dec. 11, 2019.
Wesley Ira Purkey violently raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl, and then dismembered, burned, and dumped the young girl’s body in a septic pond. Purkey’s execution is scheduled to occur on Dec. 13, 2019.
Alfred Bourgeois physically and emotionally tortured, sexually molested, and then beat to death his 2.5-year-old daughter. Bourgeois’s execution is scheduled to occur on Jan. 13, 2020.
Dustin Lee Honken shot and killed five people—two men who planned to testify against him and a single, working mother and her 10-year-old and 6-year-old daughters. Honken’s execution is scheduled to occur on Jan. 15, 2020.
Each of these inmates has exhausted their appellate and post-conviction remedies, and currently, no legal impediments prevent their executions, which will take place at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana. Additional executions will be scheduled at a later date.