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Biden Remains Against Death Penalty, Says Spokesperson, As Feds Give Execution Dates For More On Death Row
TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA, UNITED STATES - 2020/07/15: View of a sign outside the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Complex where death row inmate Wesley Ira Purkey was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection. Purkey's execution scheduled for 7 p.m., was delayed by a judge. Purkey suffers from Dementia, and Alzheimer's disease. Wesley Ira Purkey was convicted of a gruesome 1998 kidnapping and killing. (
Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

After the Federal Bureau of Prisons set execution dates for three more federal death row inmates, a spokesperson for Democratic nominee Joe Biden told The Associated Press that the former vice president remains opposed to the death penalty. 

The spokesperson, TJ Ducklo, told AP that Biden will remain opposed to it in the future as well, but Ducklo declined to say whether Biden would want to immediately enact a moratorium on executions for federal death row inmates as president. Currently, two federal death row inmates have execution dates set for the week prior to inauguration day. 

Last year, Attorney General Bill Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons to resume executions for death row inmates following a 17-year pause on federal executions. “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,” said Barr. 

Biden opposed the change at the time, tweeting: “Since 1973, over 160 individuals in this country have been sentenced to death and were later exonerated. Because we can’t ensure that we get these cases right every time, we must eliminate the death penalty.”

Of the five federal executions scheduled at the time of the policy change announcement, all five were eventually postponed. Executions for all but one of the inmates — convicted murderer Alfred Bourgeois — have since been carried out. 

As The Daily Wire reported early Saturday, Bourgeois has since received a new execution date and is now slated to be killed by lethal injection on December 11, 2020. 

Bourgeois, 55, was convicted of murdering his 2-year old daughter, JG, while on a 2002 trucking route after he was ordered to pay child support. According to officials, Bourgeois “systematically abused and tortured” JG while on the trip, and in an eventual fit of rage, killed her by repeatedly slamming her against the windows of his semi-truck.

While the future of federal executions remains unclear post-inauguration day, several other inmates on death row also have execution dates set to occur prior to January 20, including Cory Johnson, 45, Dustin John Higgs, 48, and Lisa Montgomery, 52. 

Convicted of murdering a pregnant woman and stealing her unborn child to raise as her own, Montgomery is the only woman on federal death row. The federal government last executed a woman nearly seven decades ago, when Bonnie Heady was killed after she was convicted for the murder of a 6-year-old boy. According to The New York Times, “Heady, with assistance from her accomplice Carl Hall, took the boy from school, held him for ransom and killed him. She was the first woman executed for kidnapping, according to reports at the time.”

Related: Feds: Three Execution Dates Set, Including For Man Who Murdered, ‘Systematically Abused And Tortured’ His Toddler

Related: Execution Date Set For Only Woman On Federal Death Row

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