On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr announced that he has ordered Hugh Hurwitz who heads the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin scheduling executions. The Justice Department also announced the names of the first five prisoners to be executed. The executions resume beginning with Daniel Lee Lewis on December 11. There have been no federal executions performed since 2003.
Friday, U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore announced his support for the attorney general’s decision in a statement.
“Judgments by jury’s in capital cases should be properly in enforced after all appeals are heard,” Moore said. “Likewise, corruption and delays in our Courts should be addressed. Whether immigration or capital punishment, our law must be enforced equally without prejudice or delay.”
Moore also mentioned immigration. There are dozens of people on federal death row that a jury ruled should be executed. There were no federal executions at all during former President Barack H Obama’s (D) administration. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants have been ordered departed; but most of those orders have not been acted upon by federal authorities. The Trump Administration is beginning to ramp up deportation efforts for those immigrants.
Moore is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Doug Jones.
“Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people’s representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the President,” AG Barr said. “Under Administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals, including these five murderers, each of whom was convicted by a jury of his peers after a full and fair proceeding. The Justice Department upholds the rule of law—and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”
Daniel Lee Lewis is the first convicted murderer scheduled to die by lethal injection on December 11, 2019. According to the schedule released by DOJ, Dustin Lee Honken, Alfred Boureouis, Wesley Ira Purkey, and Lezmund Mitchell are scheduled to all be executed in the days and weeks to follow in December and January. More executions will be scheduled going forward. All the executions will be performed at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana.
Alabama executes prisoners in the state prison system here, but there has not been an execution of a federal prisoner in sixteen years. As Chief Justice, Moore had to hear the appeals of death row inmates in the Alabama state prison system.
According to Fox News, there are 61 men and one woman on the federal death row. Most of them are housed at a federal prison in Indiana. Lethal injection is the only approved means of executing someone in the federal system.
Moore was the Republican nominee for Senate in 2017 but was narrowly defeated by Jones in the special general election. Moore ran for Governor in 2010 and 2006, but failed was defeated in the Republican primary.
John Merrill, Stanley Adair, Bradley Byrne, Tommy Tuberville, and Arnold Mooney are also running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Jones presently has no Democratic primary challengers.
The major party primaries will be on March 3.