Mr. Rosen, You Have The Power: RESCIND THE DEATH WARRANTS!

Incoming Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen

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The Attorney General serves at the pleasure of the President, but should be independent of the influence of that office. The Attorney General sets execution dates and has the power to rescind them. Coming into office in the final weeks of the Trump Administration, incoming Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen should rescind the remaining three scheduled execution warrants and stand down from the machinery of death. The fact that at least one prisoner on federal death row is COVID-19-positive should be enough to not put any further prison workers and their families and communities in harm's way. Mr. Rosen should act to halt any further executions immediately upon assuming the duties of the office, currently anticipated on December 23, 2020.

Background:

A lame duck president should not be pushing the opposite agenda of the incoming administration, nor should his appointees or those filling the position of his appointees who have resigned. It's been 131 years since the last time there was a federal execution under a lame duck president. There were post-election executions on November 19, December 10 and December 11, 2020, and now three more are scheduled for January 12, 14 and 15, 2021.

The American people have spoken: more people than in any other election in our history voted for Joe Biden to become president. As a candidate his position on criminal justice matters clearly indicated his intention to repeal the federal death penalty.

There are three more federal executions scheduled in the final weeks of the lame duck Trump administration, with the final one set on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Details of these cases raise questions of innocence/culpability, issues around serious mental illness, intellectual capacity, fairness, racial bias and other horrific issues that plague our modern death penalty.

As of December 11, 2020, President Trump has overseen 10 executions since July 14, 2020 -- surpassing the eight executions under President Eisenhower in his entire eight-year term. The alarming speed with which these executions have been scheduled and carried out should deeply trouble all Americans. President Trump has secured his record as the biggest and best executioner. There’s no need to move forward with more.
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To: Incoming Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen
From: Ruth Battaglia

You are taking office with less than a month left in the current administration. The American people are safe from dangerous offenders and in the vast majority of cases we hold such individuals accountable with incarceration. There is no need to carry out any more federal executions.

Further, now that COVID-19 cases are confirmed on the federal death row, continuing with the executions as scheduled creates additional risk to prison workers, their families and the communities they live in.

We urge you to use your power to rescind the remaining execution warrants and declare that no more execution dates will be set while you serve as Acting Attorney General.