DOJ plans three executions before Biden inauguration

DOJ plans three executions before Biden inauguration
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to conduct three executions in the final weeks of President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' MORE’s administration and ahead of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' US officials testify on domestic terrorism in wake of Capitol attack MORE’s inauguration.

Two men and one woman are scheduled to be executed before Biden becomes president after he has declared that he will reverse the Trump administration’s resumption of capital punishment. 

The Trump administration restarted federal executions in July after a 17-year pause and has since executed seven people. Before the unofficial break from executions, the federal government executed only three people in the last 50 years, according to the Bureau of Prisons.


The three scheduled executions left this year are for 49-year-old Orlando Cordia Hall, 40-year-old Brandon Bernard and 52-year-old Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row.

All three inmates have ongoing litigation regarding their capital punishment, The New York Times reported. But thus far this year, the Supreme Court has not accepted their arguments on postponing their executions, even before Justice Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettCourt watchers buzz about Breyer's possible retirement Five hot-button issues Biden didn't mention in his address to Congress Conservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation MORE was confirmed. 

The DOJ did not immediately return a request for comment on the scheduling. 

Hall was convicted of kidnapping resulting in death after he and others abducted, raped and buried a 16-year-old alive in 1994. Bernard, along with accomplices, murdered two youth ministers in 1999, the DOJ said. One of his accomplices Christopher Vialva was executed in September.

Montgomery, who would become the first woman executed in almost 70 years had been convicted in kidnapping resulting in death in 2007 after strangling a pregnant woman and abducting the unborn child. 


Biden’s campaign has vowed to end federal executions and incentivize states to halt their executions.

Robert Dunham, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told the Times that executions during a transition of power were extremely unusual.

“This is another part of the Trump legacy that’s inconsistent with American norms,” he said. “If the administration followed the normal rules of civility that have been followed throughout the history in this country, it wouldn’t be an issue. The executions wouldn’t go forward.”