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Biden’s Reversal on Death Penalty Pledge

via The Wall Street Journal
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Joe Biden campaigned in 2020 on ending the federal death penalty but has not taken major steps to fulfill that pledge as president.

While Attorney General Merrick Garland instituted a moratorium on federal executions to review protocols, the DOJ has since sought the death penalty in some high-profile cases.

“It’s always been used as a political talking point. It has for centuries and it probably always will be,” executive director of the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center Robin Maher said. “But I think the American public is seeing through that now and is really looking for more serious answers to these very serious problems in our communities.”

As a senator, Biden had supported expanding capital punishment, though he now personally opposes it.

Some activists are frustrated by Biden’s inaction, though executing reforms may not help him politically.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump frequently touts resuming federal executions and applying the death penalty to drug dealers if reelected, playing to his “law and order” base, though the issue divides some religious conservatives.

Support for capital punishment is declining but remains controversial in the U.S.

“President Xi in China controls 1.4 billion people, with an iron hand, no drug problems. You know why?” Trump said. “Death penalty for the drug dealers.”

“It’s going to be a struggle for some in the community,” National Religious Broadcasters Troy Miller said. “But I also think there’s a lot of strong support in the community for tough punishments and consequences.”

“I always think, ‘Is there room for redemption?’ That’s my perspective,” trauma specialist Ann E. Gillies said. “But, even with that, if you’ve done the crime you need to do the time, do the punishment.”

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