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Accelerated execution of death-row convicts under Trump

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 11, 2019 US President Donald Trump (L) and US Attorney General William Barr arrive to deliver remarks on citizenship and the census in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC.

The United States are quick to condemn other nations around the world on a whole host of issues, from political alignment to economic choices, yet it's on human rights that the US is the most hypocritical of them all, as federal inmates are being executed in a final purge prior to Trump's imminent departure.

When Trump came to power, and in fact during both his election campaigns, he claimed that he would be a champion of the justice system, famously stating to Hillary Clinton during one televised debate that he would get her arrested.

Yet, with time ticking away before Trump hands over the reins to Joe Biden, the incumbent president appears to have gone on a federal killing spree, executing more prisoners since he's been in power than all other state executions combined, making him responsible for more executions than any other modern president.

In 2020 alone, state ordered executions totaled seven across all 50 states of the US. Yet Trump's federal executions have totaled 10 with three more inmates on death row due to be terminated prior to January the 21st. Something that Trump will likely see out as the deadline approaches, potentially bringing the total to 13; almost double the amount of state executions.

The decision by Trump to go on a final execution spree breaks with the norm as, traditionally, death row inmates are usually exempt from execution during a presidential transition period, allowing the incoming president  to consider clemency should the terms and conditions apply.

I think the number that we've seen from the Trump administration is astronomical compared to what we've seen from previous administrations combined. And so especially by adding on some on top of what was already scheduled, I think it's clear that they're trying to rush the execution process.

Member of US Public

But it seems that Trump is merely following the age old American tradition of using the death penalty. Since colonial times, the US has executed over 15,000 people, many of them have been later found to be not guilty thanks to technological advances, improved criminal investigations and public opposition to the death penalty increasing.

Naturally, the timing of the latest execution has raised the question whether this is genuinely a cause for justice? Or is this simply Donald Trump playing God one last time showing the US and the rest of the world just what kind of man he really is?

Trump has shown he's not shy when it comes to stirring racial hatred in the US. His mishandling of the Black Lives Matter movement was one of the key reasons he lost the presidential election to Joe Biden, leaving behind a country deeply divided along racial line in the process.

The sentiment is reflected in the US criminal justice system, especially on death row. As since 1976, only 21 white defendants have been executed for crimes against black people yet 297 black suspects have been executed in the US for crimes on white people clearly showing the system is racist to the core.

Trump also demonstrated a history of racist views, labeling the Black Lives Matter movement as a destructive entity, not designed to bring equality and justice to black people, but to bring the entire US infrastructure to a halt. Something that's baffling to hear.

The stated goal of BLM organization, people, is to achieve the destruction of the nuclear family, abolish the police, abolish prisons, abolish border security, abolish capitalism and abolish school choice. That's what their stated goals are. This is not the agenda of the black community. This is the agenda of an extreme socialist or worse. You know what the other word is? Yeah, Marxist, Communist.

President Donald J Trump

With Trump supporters clearly echoing the sentiments of the outgoing president, groups such as the proud boys and other far right organizations are lapping up the attention and openly supporting a crackdown on black people, either through the use of police brutality, or through the execution chamber, something that the US has quite a history of, especially when it comes to killing black people.

Yet the situation may be about to change in the US with President Elect Joe Biden stating that he is in fact against the death penalty. And should the conditions be met, he can end the act with a stroke of a pen. However, Biden like many others before him, still has a lot to demonstrate that he can turn his words into actions,

"You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America"; and what's their proof? The violence we're seeing in Donald Trump's America. These are not images of some imagined Joe Biden America in the future. These are images of Donald Trump's America today.

President-elect, Joe Biden

Well it remains to be seen whether Trump's last stand will be to execute the three remaining federal prisoners prior to his departure from office, and more importantly, whether the US will consider its own actions before criticizing others henceforth.

 


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