In an op-ed for Slate this Tuesday, Austin Sarat says that the Trump administration's announcement that it would continue to carry out executions in the days and weeks leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden is a "bloodthirsty decision" that defies "the norms and conventions for modern presidential transitions."
"The Death Penalty Information Center reports that the last time an outgoing administration did anything remotely similar was more than a century ago, in 1889," Sarat writes. "At that time Grover Cleveland, the first Democrat to be elected president after the Civil War and the only president ever to have served as an executioner (when he was the sheriff in Erie County, New York), permitted three executions to proceed in the period between his electoral defeat and Benjamin Harrison’s inauguration in March 1889."
Since then, every administration has halted executions during the transition of power, but Trump and Attorney General William Barr are rushing to execute persons who might be spared by a new administration.
Read the full article over at Slate.