Attorney General William Barr announced Thursday that the federal government will be resuming capital punishment after 16 years, with the Bureau of Prisons already scheduled to execute 5 people on death row, CNN reports.
The “five death-row inmates [are] convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society — children and the elderly,” according to a Department of Justice statement. They are scheduled to be executed using pentobarbital, which replaces the three-drug procedure previously used in federal executions, CNN reports
“Saying that you are going to adopt a protocol is not the same thing as having a protocol properly adopted through the required administrative procedures,” said Robert Dunham, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a group that has been critical of how the penalty is administered. “You can’t just say it and have it happen. There is a legal process for a protocol to go into effect and there is a legal process for challenging the protocol.”
The last federal execution was in 2003.