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Attorney General Merrick Garland Halts Federal Executions

HeadlineJul 02, 2021

Attorney General Merrick Garland has ordered a halt to all federal executions while the Justice Department conducts a review of its policies and procedures on capital punishment. In a memo dated Thursday, Garland cites the “arbitrariness in its application, disparate impact on people of color, and the troubling number of exonerations in capital and other serious cases.” Garland also ordered a review of the lethal injection drugs used to kill condemned prisoners. The Justice Department, however, has not changed its position that convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should remain on death row.

Beginning in 2020, the former Trump administration carried out a killing spree of 13 death row prisoners, after then-Attorney General William Barr ordered the first federal executions since 2003.

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