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Obama in unchartered waters over 1st execution under his administration

By Nairita Das

Washington, Dec 24 (ANI): The US Justice Department is reportedly preparing for the first execution under President Barack Obama.

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Prisons gave notice to a federal judge that it intends to set an execution date for Jeffery Paul, who was convicted in 1997 and sentenced to death for the robbery-murder of an 82-year-old National Park Service employee, Sherman Williams, on federal land in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1995.

According to Politico, plans for the execution were disclosed by Justice Department lawyers in a lawsuit pending in Washington over federal lethal injection procedures.

Three executions took place in the federal system under President George W. Bush, including that of Oklahoma City federal building bomber Timothy McVeigh in 2001, and the last execution was in March 2003.

However, unlike his two most recent predecessors, Obama never had involvement before he became President with carrying out the death penalty or handing requests for clemency. However, he did work on reforms to state death penalty laws in Illinois while he was a state legislator there, the report said.

When he was still a candidate for president, Obama had said he supported the death penalty in the case of "heinous" crimes.

"I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances, for the most egregious of crimes," Obama said when criticizing a Supreme Court decision that rejected death sentences for child rape. (ANI)

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