Urgent Action Update: Three People Face Federal Executions (USA: UA 26.20)

November 6, 2020

Two men and one woman convicted under USA federal law face execution in November and December 2020. After a hiatus of 17 years, the Trump administration resumed federal executions on 14 July 2020, putting to death seven men over ten weeks. Their cases reflected concerns on arbitrariness, racial bias and unfairness that have long affected the US death penalty system, as well as contempt for international law restrictions on the use of the death penalty. We urge the US Attorney General to withdraw any pending death warrants and abandon any plans to pursue further executions.



  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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Attorney General William Barr
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Department Comment Line: (202) 353-1555
Email: [email protected]
Michael Carvajal
Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534
Phone: (202) 307-3198
Email: [email protected]


Dear Attorney General Barr,

I am writing to ask to call off the executions of three people convicted under USA federal law, currently set for 19 November and 8 and 10 December 2020.

With seven executions carried out in just over two months, your administration has now put to death more people in 2020 than the rest of the country combined; and has tripled the total number of federal executions recorded since 1977, when US judicial killings resumed in the post-Furman v. Georgia era.

This relentless pursuit of executions has not only put the spotlight on the flaws and arbitrariness that have long affected the US death penalty system, but has also shown cruel contempt on the part of the administration for safeguards and restrictions established under international law and standards to guarantee protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty. Racial bias and flawed legal representation are some of the common factors that have contributed to unreliable judicial decisions on life or death, including for people with severe mental and intellectual disabilities. I ask you to intervene and lead the urgent review of the broken US death penalty system.

As of today, 22 US states and the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty, and 11 others have not carried out executions in more than 10 years.

I encourage you to do everything in your power to call off the scheduled executions and end the cycle of violence.

Yours sincerely,