Skip to Content

Press Releases

Pingree Calls for Biden Admin to Abolish the Death Penalty

In wake of unprecedented number of federal executions, 45 members of Congress urge the Biden Administration to end the federal death penalty

Today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree joined a letter to Department of Justice Attorney General-Designate Judge Merrick B. Garland to prioritize President Biden’s commitment of working with Congress to end the federal death penalty and incentivizing states to end capital punishment across the country. 

In the letter, the Members stated, "The death penalty is a stain on the United States’ commitment to advancing justice and human rights. After the past year of Americans taking to the streets to protest police brutality and racial injustice, we believe abolishing the death penalty would be an important marker as we work to address systemic racism in America, particularly within our criminal justice system. We ask that upon confirmation you partner with Congress to enact legislation to end the federal death penalty and resentence those currently on federal death row."

The 45 Members of Congress encouraged the Biden administration to:

-Work with Congress to enact legislation to abolish the federal death penalty and resentence those currently on federal death row;

-Rescind the July 25, 2019, addendum to the Federal Execution Protocol and withdraw any pending death warrants;

-Withdraw authorization for all pending death penalty trial cases and cease to seek any death sentence;

-Direct the Bureau of Prisons to dismantle the federal death chamber at FCC Terre Haute prison;

-Rescind DOJ Rule 85 FR 75846 “Manner of Federal Executions” that took effect December 24, 2020. The rule would give the Attorney General unfettered ability to deviate from the regulations at will without subjecting any such changes to further review, and grant unlimited power to redelegate authority and reassign duties among various DOJ components in direct contravention of 18 USC 3596(a). The rule would also eliminate the requirement that any execution be preceded by a valid judgment and order from the federal sentencing court, thereby eliminating a federal court’s authority to control its own judgments and violating the separation of powers between the judicial and executive branches.

Click here to read the letter to Attorney General-Designate Garland in its entirety. 



Back to top