While Americans have historically supported the death penalty, President Joe Biden is working to limit capital punishment in a stark reversal from his predecessor.
According to a report, Biden’s Justice Department has withdrawn the death penalty in at least 12 separate cases.
DOJ puts halt on death penalty
Among the hardened killers being spared is a man who shot his mailwoman and then set her remains on fire.
According to Fox News, James Wayne Ham of Coldspring, Texas, was sentenced to life in prison a week after Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, pulled a notice of intent to seek the death penalty in the 2013 murder.
Biden’s stance is even more liberal than that of his former boss, President Barack Obama, who had sought the death penalty for Ham.
Former President Donald Trump shocked many on the left and stirred an outcry when he brought back the federal death penalty and executed 13 prisoners during his final months in office. Garland issued a moratorium on executions in July.
“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,” Garland said at the time, according to the Associated Press. “That obligation has special force in capital cases.”
Biden’s base still unsatisfied
Biden’s approach marks a shift for a politician who once was known for his tough-on-crime stance. His 1994 crime bill included the Federal Death Penalty Act, which added 60 crimes punishable by death, as the AP noted.
But since his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden has sought to revise his older positions on crime to placate progressive reform activists. While he has significantly curtailed the death penalty, some have complained that he has not done enough to deliver on campaign promises to end the practice.
“Biden’s lack of action is unconscionable,” Ashley Kincaid Eve, a lawyer and activist, told the AP. “This is the easiest campaign promise to keep, and the fact he refuses to keep it…is political cowardice.”
Biden has angered the left by pursuing capital punishment for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and he is also seeking the death penalty for white supremacist killer Dylann Roof, as Fox notes.
As the nation suffers a crime wave that many have tied to Democratic policies, Biden has also applauded a movement to refund police in liberal cities.