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July 14, 2020

Congresswoman Pressley’s Statement on First Federal Execution Since 2003

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) issued the following statement today regarding the federal government’s execution of Daniel Lee, which marked its first use of the death penalty since 2003.

“The Trump Administration has operated with cruel urgency to re-instate the federal death penalty. A year ago, I filed a bill to end the federal death penalty once and for all. Last night’s court decision and hurried execution make clear that Congress must act.

“The injustice of the death penalty is clearly documented. Beyond its disproportionate use against people who are Black, Latinx, and poor, studies have found that 1 in 25 death row inmates are innocent.  It is time for the United States to join the majority of the world’s nations and abolish this inhumane punishment that is as cruel as it is ineffective in deterring crime.

“Last week, the President commuted the sentence of his guilty and corrupt associate, this week, he is reinstating government-sponsored executions. There can be no justice if there are two legal systems in this country—one for the wealthy and well-connected, and one for everyone else.

“It is time for Congress to take a stand and pass my bill to end the federal death penalty, H.R. 4052.”

In July 2019, Congresswoman Pressley introduced, H.R. 4052, legislation to prohibit the use of the death penalty at the federal level and require re-sentencing of those currently on death row. The legislation followed the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement that it would resume the use of the death penalty for the first time in more than 16 years.

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