Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that federal executions are being halted.
Garland said he was issuing a moratorium while the Department of Justice reviews its policies and procedures on federal executions after the Trump administration carried out 13 executions in six months.
“The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States but is also treated fairly and humanely,” Garland said. “That obligation has special force in capital cases.”
According to NBC News, a federal lawsuit was filed over the protocols that were put into place by former Attorney General William Barr, which included the use of pentobarbital.
The Associated Press reported that federal executions under Trump’s Justice Department were resumed in July, following a 17-year hiatus