I am opposed to the death penalty, seeing it as an utterly barbaric practice that no society that considers itself civilized should countenance. In the US, some states allow it, while others do not. The federal government does allow it but it has been very rarely carried out. But Trump and his attorney general Bill Barr seem to have a relish for it, so much so that they are rushing to carry out executions before they leave office, presumably because Joe Biden, who opposes the death penalty, might not carry them out.
As President Donald Trump’s days in the White House wane, his administration is racing through a string of federal executions.
Five executions are scheduled before President-elect Joe Biden’s 20 January inauguration – breaking with an 130-year-old precedent of pausing executions amid a presidential transition.
And if all five take place, Mr Trump will be the country’s most prolific execution president in more than a century, overseeing the executions of 13 death row inmates since July of this year.
“This is really outside the norm, in a pretty extreme way,” said Ngozi Ndulue, director of research at the non-partisan Death Penalty Information Center.
Since the federal death penalty was reinstated by the US Supreme Court in 1988, executions carried out by the national or federal government in the US have remained rare.
Before Mr Trump took office, only three federal executions had taken place in this period.
All were carried out under Republican President George W Bush, and included inmate Timothy McVeigh, convicted of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing. Since 2003, there have been no federal executions at all.
Even if you are a supporter of the death penalty, surely basic humanity would suggest that you do not affirmatively push them through quickly by bypassing norms. What kind of person actually welcomes killing someone so much that they want to make sure that it is done on their watch?
As I said, these are sick, sick people.