Recently, the execution of federal death row prisoners at the end of his term of office has attracted media attention. Trump previously restarted a 17-year moratorium on executions in July 2020.
He expected to execute a total of 13 executions by the end of his term. As of December 17, 10 have been executed, and the remaining three will be executed in January 2021.
On December 17th, local time, a condemned prisoner expected to be executed five days before President-elect Biden’s inauguration was recently diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
U.S. media analysis said that this led to the possibility of delaying his execution or even eventually exempting him from the death penalty.
According to the Associated Press and Capitol Hill on the 17th, the lawyer of a federal condemned prisoner said at the trial on the same day that he had been notified by the prison bureau that his client had tested positive for the novel coronavirus in recent days.
The death sentence, who was sentenced to death in 2000 for kidnapping and killing three women, was originally scheduled to be executed on January 15, 2021. He is the last death row inmate to be executed during Trump’s term and the only death row inmate currently infected with COVID-19 during his term.
The prisoner’s lawyer has asked the government to postpone the execution date or seek court intervention. If the death penalty is worsened, the judge may postpone the execution date.
The Associated Press analysis said that this may lead to the prisoner’s eventual exemption from the death penalty.
If the date of the execution of the prisoner’s death penalty is delayed by more than five days, it will enter Biden’s term. At present, some Democrats have asked Biden to immediately announce a freeze on the first day of office and finally abolish the death penalty.
As for Biden himself, he has announced that he will overturn the Trump administration’s decision to resume the death penalty. Therefore, the prisoner may eventually escape the death penalty.
In addition, the incident has raised concerns about the surge in COVID-19 patients in the U.S. prison system. According to the statistics of the Prison Policy Initiative in the United States, there are currently about 2.3 million prisoners in the U.S. prison system, and more than 200,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
As of the 17th, more than 300 prisoners have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus at Treholt Prison in Indiana, and Treholt Prison is the only place on death row and execution place in the federal prison system.