PEC statement opposing Trump’s rush to execute as many federal prisoners as possible and to allow cruel and unusual forms of execution of inmates on death row.

The Peace Education Center’s Statement opposing President Trump’s rush before he leaves office to execute as many federal prisoners as possible and to allow cruel and unusual forms of execution of inmates on death row

The Peace Education Center of the Greater Lansing Area (PEC) urges all citizens of good will and elected officials to speak out against President Donald Trump’s and Attorney General William Barr’s sudden decision to execute federal inmates and to oppose their just announced proposed new methods of execution. In what seems like a vindictive parting shot at Joe Biden and death-penalty opponents, President Trump’s Justice Department has announced that the federal government will execute five inmates before he leaves office on January 20th, representing a total of thirteen since July making this the worst spate of executions since 1927. In addition, the Justice Department has created new regulations allowing more cruel methods for federal executions — including by firing squad, electrocution and poison gas — instead of by previously court-approved lethal injection. These new methods appear to preclude challenges to executions when chemicals for lethal injection are not available. President Trump appears to be speeding up these executions before President-Elect Biden assumes office because he opposes the death penalty.

Over its fifty-year life, the Peace Education Center has worked to support human rights at home and abroad, and to support the peaceful resolution of personal, domestic and international conflicts. Like many groups concerned about human rights, the Peace Education Center opposes the death penalty as a form of punishment for people convicted of criminal offenses, whether in federal or state jurisdictions. While opposing capital punishment, the PEC recognizes that this punishment is lawful for some federal crimes and for certain crimes in some states. In this circumstance, the PEC believes that because of its finality, execution as punishment should not be carried out until prisoners have exhausted every legal avenue of appeal.  Moreover, the Justice Department’s rush to allow cruel and unusual methods of execution before President Trump’s term ends seems like a vindictive legacy he seeks to leave for President-Elect Biden.
The Peace Education Center urges all opposed to the death penalty to make their opposition to these executions and to these new cruel methods of execution known to our elected officials.

Approved:  Board of the Peace Education Center
Date:  December 3, 2020

Click here to download the statement as a PDF file.