Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Police officers gather to remove activists during an anti death penalty protest in front of the US Supreme Court January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Police officers gather to remove activists during an anti death penalty protest in front of the US Supreme Court January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

As Trump DOJ Resumes Federal Capital Punishment After Two-Decade Lapse, Sanders Calls for Abolition of Death Penalty

"There's enough violence in the world. The government shouldn't add to it," said the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Jake Johnson

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday vowed to abolish the death penalty at the federal level if elected president after news broke that Attorney General William Barr has directed the Bureau of Prisons to resume capital punishment for the first time in nearly two decades.

"There's enough violence in the world. The government shouldn't add to it," tweeted Sanders, the first 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to respond to the news. "When I am president, we will abolish the death penalty."

In his directive, Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons to schedule the execution of five inmates currently on death row.

According to the Washington Post the "last federal execution was in 2003."

"In the years since, there has been an informal moratorium on executions of federal prisoners, as Justice Department officials reviewed its lethal injection procedures," the Post reported. "That practice was underscored during the Obama administration by then-Attorney General Eric Holder's personal opposition to the death penalty, even while he approved prosecutors' decisions to seek the death penalty in specific trial."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Colin Powell, Who Helped George W. Bush Lie Nation Into Iraq War, Dead at 84

"It's crucial to remember just how important Colin Powell was to selling the Iraq War, and how deliberately he used his public credibility to boost the lies that pushed us into the war. That is his biggest legacy."

Jon Queally ·


'Indefensible': US Billionaires Became $2.1 Trillion Richer in 19 Months of Pandemic

New analysis shows that just 745 individuals have combined $5 trillion in wealth—most of which will never be taxed—as nations reels from pain inflicted by Covid-19.

Jon Queally ·


Coalition Urges Biden to Make 'Transformative Change' in Approach to Global Food and Agriculture

"This pro-corporate agriculture agenda must change under your watch."

Andrea Germanos ·


Mondaire Jones Warns Against Watering Down Human Infrastructure Proposals

The New York Democrat is advocating universal programs, not means-tested ones, for programs in the Build Back Better plan.

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Threatening Key Climate Provision: Reports

"To take it out is to decide that climate change isn't a problem."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo