Justice Department drafts legislation to expedite executions of convicted mass murderers in shooting aftermath

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly drafted legislation to expedite the execution of convicted mass murderers as a response to multiple recent deadly mass shootings.

Vice President Mike Pence has been working with Attorney General William Barr on the proposal, Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, said Monday, according to Bloomberg.

The bill comes after the DOJ announced in July that it would resume capital punishment for the first time in two decades.

The proposal will also likely be part of a larger gun control initiative that aims to address a wave of deadly shootings, including a weekend rampage in West Texas, that left at least seven people dead and 22 people injured, Bloomberg reports.{mosads}

The Odessa shooting, in addition to two deadly massacres earlier in August — one in Dayton, Ohio, and another in El Paso, Texas — have reignited the gun control debate, with 2020 Democrats and gun violence awareness groups among those pressuring lawmakers to deal with the issue.

The White House is in talks with lawmakers from both parties on gun control proposals, hoping for a plan of action before the House and Senate reconvene later this month.

There is also uncertainty on Capitol Hill over Trump’s stance on background check laws. The president previously indicated support for stronger background checks in the wake of the El Paso shooting but later backed off, saying Sunday that “we’re looking at the same things. … It really hasn’t changed anything.”

The House Judiciary Committee announced on Friday that it is postponing a planned early return from recess to consider gun reform legislation due to Hurricane Dorian hindering lawmaker travel. The committee had planned to mark up bills to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines and prevent people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes or considered high-risk from having guns.

Tags death penalty Department of Justice Donald Trump gun violence Mike Pence Odessa Odessa shooting Trump administration William Barr

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