US Justice Department halts federal executions

US Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a moratorium on federal executions while the Department of Justice conducts a review of its policies and procedures, the department announced Thursday.

The moratorium comes after the Trump administration had resumed federal executions after a 17-year hiatus.

In a July 1 statement, Garland said 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.”

“That obligation has special force in capital cases,” he added.

Although the department said no executions will take place while the reviews are conducted, the moratorium does not formally end federal executions, and they could be legally resumed by this or a future administration.

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