Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Executions by the federal government are on the rise. The number carried out by the federal governement since November 1988 (the date when the federal death penalty was reinstated) is set to double this May, with executions scheduled for May 9, May 10, and May 12. Although the federal death penalty was reinstated to combat drug trafficking (with the Drug Kingpin Act), the federal government has since expanded its jurisdiction, adding over 50 capital crimes, most unrelated to fighting drug trafficking. These federal capital crimes include kidnapping resulting in death, murder for hire, fatal drive-by shootings, sexual abuse crimes resulting in death, fatal carjackings or aircraft hijackings and sending materials through the mail with the intent of killing.
Since Timothy McVeigh's execution, only two others have been executed for federal crimes, with the last federal execution taking place in 2003. Currently there are 41 people on federal death row, 24 of whom are black. More from MSNBC.com. . . [Mark Godsey]