Biden’s silence on executions adds to death penalty disarray

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FEDERAL DEATH CHAMBER

FILE – This March 22, 1995, file photo shows the interior of the execution chamber in the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. Activists widely expected President Joe Biden to take swift action against the death penalty as the first sitting president to oppose capital punishment, especially since an unprecedented spate of executions by his predecessor ended just days before Biden took office. Instead, the White House has been mostly silent. (AP Photo/Chuck Robinson, File)

CHICAGO (AP) – Activists widely expected Joe Biden to take swift action against the death penalty as the first sitting president to oppose capital punishment, but the White House has been mostly silent.

Biden hasn’t said whether he’d back a bill to strike the death penalty from U.S. statutes. Biden also hasn’t rescinded Trump-era protocols enabling federal executions to resume and allowing prisons to use firing squads if necessary. And this week, Biden’s administration asked the Supreme Court to reinstate the Boston Marathon bomber’s original death sentence. The hands-off approach is adding to disarray around the death penalty nationwide as pressure increases in some conservative states to find ways to continue executions amid shortages of lethal-injection drugs.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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