NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, December 13th, 2020

The pro-death Trump regime is executing incarcerated people as fast as it possibly can

Last sum­mer, Don­ald Trump’s immoral, mur­der­ous regime was allowed by right wing jus­tices to move for­ward with its plans to kill as many peo­ple cur­rent­ly in fed­er­al cus­tody as it can get away with, bring­ing to an end a sev­en­teen year hia­tus in the use of the death penal­ty by fed­er­al officials.

Trump’s pun­ish­ment-obsessed sub­or­di­nates prompt­ly sprang into action and got the Bureau of Pris­ons’ Indi­ana-based death cham­ber ready for slaughter.

As of this week­end the Trump regime had, in a few short weeks, exe­cut­ed ten peo­ple via lethal injec­tion in Terre Haute. Sick­en­ing­ly, the regime has even more exe­cu­tions planned before Jan­u­ary 20th, 2021, when Trump’s term ends.

The peo­ple killed by the Trump regime are:

  • Daniel Lewis Lee (July 14th)
  • Wes­ley Ira Purkey (July 16th)
  • Dustin Lee Honken (July 17th)
  • Lez­mond Charles Mitchell (August 26th)
  • Kei­th Dwayne Nel­son (August 28th)
  • William Emmett LeCroy (Sep­tem­ber 22nd)
  • Christo­pher Andre Vial­va (Sep­tem­ber 24th)
  • Orlan­do Cor­dia Hall (Novem­ber 19th)
  • Bran­don Bernard (Decem­ber 10th)
  • Alfred Bour­geois (Decem­ber 11th)

Those sched­uled to be put to death are:

  • Lisa Mont­gomery (Sched­uled Jan­u­ary 12th)
  • Cory John­son (Sched­uled Jan­u­ary 14th)
  • Dustin John Hig­gs (Sched­uled Jan­u­ary 15th)

No pres­i­dent in the last cen­tu­ry has over­seen as many exe­cu­tions as Trump, and no pres­i­dent has over­seen as many exe­cu­tions as Trump has in a sin­gle year.

“Accord­ing to the Espy file, a data­base of exe­cu­tions in the U.S. and its colonies between 1608 and 2002, the ten exe­cu­tions since July 14th con­sti­tute the most fed­er­al civil­ian exe­cu­tions in a cal­en­dar year since the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment exe­cut­ed six­teen civil­ian pris­on­ers in 1896, dur­ing the sec­ond pres­i­den­cy of Grover Cleve­land,” the Death Penal­ty Infor­ma­tion Cen­ter reports.

While Trump doles out par­dons to his bud­dies and back­ers, his min­ions are using the resources of the Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment to kill peo­ple, because they can.

Oth­er fed­er­al inmates, mean­while, are dying of COVID-19, the nov­el coro­n­avirus, just like hun­dreds of thou­sands of their fel­low Amer­i­cans, because the Trump regime isn’t inter­est­ed in insti­tut­ing pub­lic health mea­sures to com­bat the virus.

Few of Trump’s many enablers seem the slight­est bit both­ered by all of this death, even though they proud­ly call them­selves “pro-life”.

To their cred­it, the often out of touch Catholic bish­ops who are obsessed with deny­ing Amer­i­cans repro­duc­tive free­dom did speak out force­ful­ly in sup­port of church teach­ing, insist­ing that Trump and Bill Barr stop the slaughter.

Trump and Barr have ignored the bish­ops’ demand.

“We’ve asked many times to stop the fed­er­al exe­cu­tions,” said Arch­bish­op Paul S. Coak­ley of Okla­homa City in a state­ment. “In fact, last Advent, three bish­ops wrote that the resump­tion of fed­er­al exe­cu­tions was at odds with this sea­son of antic­i­pat­ed redemp­tion. But the exe­cu­tions resumed. Eight since July. Two more this week. Three in Jan­u­ary. A new reg­u­la­tion will per­mit fed­er­al exe­cu­tion by means oth­er than lethal injec­tion, such as the elec­tric chair.”

“What does the birth of our Lord say to this? The Lord comes not to destroy, but to save. For the Sec­ond Sun­day of Advent, we hear St. Peter coun­sel that the Lord ‘is patient with you, not wish­ing that any should per­ish but that all should come to repen­tance’ (2 Pt. 3:9). Can we fol­low the Lord’s example?

“We are all sin­ners. Some have done ter­ri­ble things. Vic­tims need help. Jus­tice is need­ed for peace. But exe­cu­tions solve noth­ing,” Coak­ley observed.

Near­ly every nation around the world has out­lawed the prac­tice of putting peo­ple to death. But the Unit­ed States, inde­fen­si­bly, has not. We talk about human rights while oper­at­ing death cham­bers. It’s just awful.

For­tu­nate­ly, progress has been made on abol­ish­ing the death penal­ty at the state lev­el. In 2018, a few months after NPI announced its find­ing that six­ty-nine per­cent of Wash­ing­to­ni­ans pre­fer life in prison alter­na­tives to the death penal­ty, the Wash­ing­ton State Supreme Court struck down as uncon­sti­tu­tion­al the law per­mit­ting exe­cu­tions and con­vert­ed all death sen­tences to life sentences.

The now-unen­force­able death penal­ty statute does remain on the books, although the Sen­ate has repeat­ed­ly vot­ed to get rid of it. (Get­ting the bill through the State House will be an NPI leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ty in 2021.)

In addi­tion to the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, twen­ty-eight states still have the death penal­ty, includ­ing Ore­gon, Ida­ho, and Mon­tana. Alas­ka, how­ev­er, does not: the Last Fron­tier has main­tained a pro-abo­li­tion stance since 1957.

It is our fer­vent hope that the exe­cu­tions ruth­less­ly car­ried out by the Trump regime will gal­va­nize sup­port for new laws end­ing the death penalty.

It’s 2020. It’s time for this coun­try to be the human rights leader it claims to be. It’s time for the death cham­bers to be demol­ished. It’s time for abolition.

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One Comment

  1. In Eccle­si­astes, it says, “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart”. (Eccle­si­astes 5:2)

    # by Nathan :: December 13th, 2020 at 6:55 PM

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