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Justice Department schedules executions for federal inmates — the first since 2003

Posted at 10:29 AM, Jul 25, 2019

The Justice Department announced Thursday that the federal government will resume capital punishment for the first time since 2003.

In a press release, the Justice Department wrote that it has planned the executions of five inmates convicted of federal charges. All five of the executions have been scheduled for between Dec. 9 and Jan. 15.

“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,” Attorney General Barr said in the release. “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.”

The five inmates scheduled to be executed are:

-Daniel Lewis Lee, a member of a white supremacist group who was convicted of murdering a family of three in Arkansas in 1998.

-Lezmond Mitchell, a man who murdered a 63-year-old woman and her nine-year-old granddaughter in Arizona in 2001. He also mutilated the corpses of both victims.

-Wesley Ira Purkey, who raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl and burned her body in Missouri in 1998.

-Alfred Bourgeois, who was convicted of torturing, molesting and killing his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter in Louisiana.

-Dustin Lee Honken, who shot and killed five people, including two children, in Iowa.

The last person to be executed by the United States government was Louis Jones, Jr., a Texas soldier who had been convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering a fellow Army solider.

More on this as it develops.