The Justice Department has moved to withdraw death penalty requests made during the Trump administration in seven cases, according to a report.
The decision, reported Thursday by the New York Times, was not publicized by the DOJ.
The cases include that of an Orlando, Fla. man who was charged with kidnapping and fatally shooting his estranged wife, as well as a Syracuse, NY man indicted in the armed robbery of a restaurant and the murder of two employees, the paper reported.
In addition, the move also removes the death penalty in cases still being prosecuted.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
“The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States, but is also treated fairly and humanely,” Garland said in a statement.
“That obligation has special force in capital cases.”
Garland, who announced the temporary pause, called for a review of policy changes made during the Trump administration that led to the first federal executions in almost two decades, beginning in July 2020.
Under scrutiny is the use of the drug pentobarbital in lethal injections, which Garland said will be investigated for its “risk of pain and suffering.”
The review will also take a look at changes to Justice Department policies made in November 2020 that expanded allowable methods for putting inmates to death and said it was OK if the federal government used state facilities for federal executions.
No one had been executed in 17 years until the change under Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr. Thirteen federal criminals were put to death from last July to January 2021, the most executions during any presidency in 120 years.
The last federal execution came days before Trump left office.
With Post wires
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/07/22/doj-to-withdraw-death-penalty-requests-from-trump-era-cases/ on .