The federal government performed its second execution in a week on Thursday when Wesley Purkey — who was convicted in 1998 of kidnapping and killing a 16-year-old woman — was executed in Indiana. Before Tuesday, the Department of Justice had not executed a federal prisoner since 2003.
Andrea Cabral, former secretary of public safety and former sheriff of Suffolk County, said the decision by the Justice Department to resume executions shows a significant break from government policy under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
“[Resuming executions] is odd unless Bill Barr is the [attorney general], and I think that’s really the key to it,” Cabral said. “It’s fairly typical of everything in the administration, which is largely focused on suffering and death or violence. It really is. So, it’s really troubling that he is the attorney general.”
In a statement released Tuesday following the execution of Daniel Lewis Lee, Barr said that Lee “faced the justice he deserved.”
Cabral is the former sheriff of Suffolk County, former secretary of public safety, and CEO of Ascend.