Attorney General William Barr speaks during a tour of a federal prison in Edgefield, South Carolina, July 8, 2019.

© 2019 AP Photo/John Bazemore
 
(Washington, DC) – The ruling by the US District Court in Washington on November 21, 2019 to halt federal executions is a step in the right direction and will push the United States to reexamine the use of this inherently cruel form of punishment. 
 
Human Rights Watch has a long history of documenting the inequities of the death penalty in the US and opposes its use in all circumstances.
 
Below is a quote attributed to Nicole Austin-Hillery, US division executive director at Human Rights Watch, regarding today’s ruling:
 
“A federal court’s ruling to halt federal executions is encouraging. It shows the judicial branch recognizes the flaws in the death penalty and is choosing justice over mere punishment.”
 
Human Rights Watch recently published an article regarding the Trump administration’s decision to resume federal executions, which will not result in deterring crime but only in setting back efforts towards real criminal justice reform.