TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Justice Department on Thursday halted federal executions while a review of its policies and procedures is pending. While local anti-death penalty advocates said the moratorium offers “a little bit of light,” they are still hoping for more.
“We’re working for the death penalty to be abolished, totally eliminated,” Sister Barbara Battista of the Sisters of Providence said. “That would mean no further prosecutions with the death penalty as a possible sentence; that would mean tearing down death chambers around the country. So that’s what we work for.”
The Attorney General’s memorandum requires consultations with a wide range of stakeholders including the relevant department components, other federal and state agencies, medical experts and experienced capital counsel, among others. While there is no timeline on the halt, there is also no guarantee that executions won’t start up again.
“Whenever the state kills another person in our name, it just adds more violence in our community,” Batista said. “So we work as the Sisters of Providence, and a lot of other people of faith work, to eradicate violence whether that violence is in a person’s home, in a neighborhood, when you’re out shopping or when you’re incarcerated. There is no reason to tolerate the inhumane practice of taking another person’s life because they took somebody’s life.”
Batista also said capitol trials can be flawed.
“Did you know that 185 persons have been exonerated from death row since 1973?” she asked. “What does that tell us? For every 8.3 persons executed, one person has been exonerated.”
President Joe Biden has said he opposes the death penalty, and his team vowed to take action to stop its use while in office; however his administration recently asked the US Supreme court to reinstate the Boston marathon bomber’s original death sentence.
No federal executions will be scheduled while the reviews are pending. Continue following MyWabashValle.com for updates on federal executions.