In his electoral platform, the new American president, Joe Biden, promises “To eliminate the death penalty at the federal level and encourage states to follow this example”. But until the end of his mandate, President Donald Trump will have defended the death penalty: ten people have already been executed by federal justice under his mandate, and three more could follow before January 20. An exceptional figure, while the year 2020 was marked by a very sharp drop in the number of executions at the state level (only seven) due to the health crisis due to Covid-19.
Executed after sixteen years on death row
On Tuesday, January 12, Lisa Montgomery received a lethal injection, sixteen years after killing a pregnant woman in order to steal her fetus. The only woman on federal death row, she had received a first reprieve, a judge considering that “His current mental state [était] so far removed from reality that she [pouvait] not rationally understand the government’s motive for its execution “. But the justice ministry immediately appealed against the decision and the Supreme Court ultimately gave the green light for execution.
Before the end of the term scheduled for January 20, the Trump administration plans to execute two men on Thursday and Friday.
The death penalty on the decline in the United States
In the United States, the death penalty is applied federally, by the military and by 28 of the 50 federated states, although many of them have declared moratoria or have not carried out executions for several years.
In total, since 1977, 1,529 convicts have been executed in the United States, of which only thirteen by the federal justice, or 0.85% of the total. Three federal executions took place under the presidency of Republican George W. Bush, in 2001 and 2003. After a seventeen-year hiatus, they resumed in July 2020 at the end of Donald Trump’s mandate and have been linked ever since. at an unmatched pace.