On Thursday, November 19, a convict was executed in an Indiana prison in the United States. With this act, the Trump administration has broken with a tradition observed for 131 years, who wants outgoing presidents not to be re-elected to suspend executions while awaiting the swearing-in of their successor. For example, Orlando Hall, a 49-year-old African American, was executed by injection of pentobarbital.
The latter was sentenced to death in 1995 for having participated in the kidnapping, rape and murder of Lisa Rene, a 16 year old girl. The man beat her and then buried her alive with accomplices, as part of a reckoning.
His execution came after the Supreme Court dismissed a final appeal. This decision was the premiere of new judge Amy Coney Barnett. This one pronounced, like the other five conservative judges, of this body of nine magistrates. “Today, Orlando Cordia Hall was executed at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute in accordance with the death penalty unanimously recommended by a federal jury,” the Justice Department said on its website.
Although the defendant did not deny the role he played in the death of the young Lisa Rene, his attorneys Marcia Widder and Robert Owen denounced “racist bias” during his trial before an all-white jury. According to them, the Orlando Hall archive “Reflects the troubling racial disparities in capital punishment in the United States”, where 45% of those sentenced to death are African-American, while they represent only 13% of the world’s population.
8 executions since January against 3 in 45 years
Orlando Hall’s death represents the eighth federal execution since the practice, inactive for 17 years, resumed this summer. New President Joe Biden, who will be sworn in on January 20, has already made it known that he opposes this process.
While most states in the US have waived the death penalty since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, On the contrary, the Trump administration carried out an unprecedented number of executions.. Eight people have experienced it since July, up from three in the last 45 years.
And the Justice Department does not intend to stop there, having scheduled two more sworn executions of Joe Biden in January. So on December 31, Lisa Montgomery will be the first woman executed by the federal government in 70 years. Brandon Bernard’s execution is scheduled for December 10.