Sen. Tim Kaine joins colleagues in reintroducing bicameral bill to end federal death penalty

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FILE – This Oct. 9, 2014, file photo shows the gurney in the the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. Oklahoma is planning to resume executing death-row inmates, five years after lethal injections were put on hold following a series of death-chamber mishaps, state officials announced Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

WASHINGTON (WAVY) — Sen. Tim Kaine joined Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) in announcing the reintroduction of the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act of 2021. 

It is a bicameral legislation that prohibits the use of the death penalty at the federal level and requires re-sentencing of those currently on death row.

“I have long been morally opposed to the death penalty and believe murder of any sort is wrong,” Kaine said. “Capital punishment in the United States is disproportionally applied to people of color. We cannot continue to make claims for a more perfect union while condoning outdated, inhumane, and unjust practices.”

The bill would prohibit the imposition of the death penalty as punishment for any violation of federal law and would require the re-sentencing of those previously sentenced to death row.

The legislation was originally introduced by Sen. Kaine and colleagues in July 2019, following the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement that it would resume the use of the death penalty.

The Trump Administration has executed 10 Americans since resuming federal executions for the first time in 17 years on July 14, 2020.

The legislation is also co-sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

The Senate version of this bill will be introduced when the Senate reconvenes later this month.


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