US government death penalty move draws sharp criticism


26th July, 2019 03:48:50 printer

US government death penalty move draws sharp criticism


The US federal government's move to resume executions after a 16-year hiatus has drawn sharp criticism from rights groups and leading Democrats.

Several candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination called for the death penalty to be abolished.

On Thursday Attorney General William Barr said five inmates would be executed.

They had been convicted of murders or rapes of children or the elderly, he said.

The executions have been scheduled for December 2019 and January 2020.

Capital punishment in the US

The death penalty is a legal punishment in 29 US states

Since 1976, Texas has carried out the most executions (561), followed by Virginia (113) and Oklahoma (112)

There are 2,673 inmates on death row in the US

California has the most prisoners on death row - 733 - but has carried out only 13 executions since 1976

The annual number of death sentences fell by 85% between 1998 and 2018 - from 295 to 43