Per the Wall Street Journal, the extremely pro-life attorney general Jeff Sessions has authorized the federal death penalty for the first time since George W. Bush was in office. Despite the fact that, according to a recent Gallup poll, public support of the death penalty has hit an all-time low, Sessions’s decision is not a surprise.
That’s because he is a bit of a death penalty enthusiast. As the New York Times notes, when he was Alabama’s attorney general, he pursued the death penalty for the mentally disabled, as well as for people who had bad lawyers, bad prosecutors, and bad juries filled with racists. He tried to expand the crimes subject to capital punishment—even possibly including pot dealers. He also tried to speed up executions, despite the fact that, by some counts, at least 4% of the people on death row are innocent and proving innocence can take time.
While the administration calls itself pro-life, and the Republicans are traditionally the party advocating for smaller government, that apparently does not extend to the government taking a life for a crime someone may or may not have committed.ML