The U.S. government is moving to resume executions
after 16 years. Attorney General William Barr has announced that he is reinstating the policy following Congressional authorization and the president's signature. The justice department has now scheduled the execution of five federal inmates on death row for December and January. The move has drawn strong condemnation from rights groups and leading Democrats with several of the Democratic presidential candidates calling for the death penalty to be abolished.
Since the turn of the century, the number of executions in the U.S. has continued to fall and despite consecutive increases ovee the past two years, it remains at near historic lows. In 2016, 20 inmates were executed, the lowest number in a quarter of a century. In 2017 that increased to 23 before growing further to 25 last year, according to The Death Penalty Information Center
. Texas carried out the most executions of any state in 2018 with 13, followed by Tennessee with 3 and Alabama with 2.