Big Challenge: Biden Is Pressed To End Federal Death Penalty

Feb 7, 2021

Protesters against the death penalty gather in Terre Haute, Ind., Monday, July 13, 2020.
Credit (AP PHOTO/MICHAEL CONROY)

CHICAGO (AP) — Joe Biden is the first sitting president to openly oppose the death penalty, and officials say he's discussed the possibility of instructing the Justice Department to stop scheduling new executions. If he does, it would end an extraordinary run at the end of the Trump administration of 13 federal executions. They started in July and concluded only days before Biden's inauguration. Such a move would take immediate pressure off from death penalty foes. But they'll want him to go further, including by eventually backing legislation that would strike the death penalty from U.S. statutes.