U.S. Federal Government to Resume Use of Death Penalty After 16 Years

Attorney General William Barr announced he has reinstated a two-decades long dormant policy and scheduled five executions

Attorney General nominee William Barr is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 15, 2019.
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

The U.S. Justice Department has scheduled the execution of five death row federal inmates, after Attorney General William Barr announced he has reinstated a two-decades long dormant policy to resume the federal government's use of capital punishment.

“Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people’s representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the President,” Barr said in a statement.

"The Justice Department upholds the rule of law—and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”