SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Prosecutors Alliance of California Executive Director Cristine Soto DeBerry issued the following statement on the three executions the federal government plans to carry out this week, Lisa Montgomery (today, January 12), Corey Johnson (January 14), and Dustin Higgs (January 15):
“By the end of this week the federal government will have carried out more executions in the past 6 months than any year since 1896. Despite a raging global pandemic, a worsening economic crisis, an assault on the nation’s Capitol and the prospect of invoking the 25th amendment to remove a President whose mental state has come into question, this Administration has decided executing three people is a priority during the waning days of this beleaguered presidency.
The death penalty has never been shown to enhance public safety. It has been shown to be arbitrary, racist, and exceedingly expensive. Furthermore, the death penalty is irreversible. That should give us all pause given the 173 people once on death row that have been exonerated since 1973.
We applaud Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Durbin for reintroducing legislation to end the Federal Death Penalty. While progressive prosecutors can employ prosecutorial discretion to refuse to seek the death penalty, there remains a need to abolish capital punishment at both the state and federal level. It’s past time we join 106 countries around the world that have already banned the death penalty, and focus our criminal justice system on repairing harm and making our communities safer.”