10 December 2006

George W. Bush Executioner

The large number of people executed in Texas while George W. Bush was Governor of that state is well known. Less well known is the fact that all three federal executions after 1963 have taken place while he was in office.

There are currently 9 men on the military's death row (the last military execution was in 1961) and 45 men and 1 woman (Angela Johnson) on the federal civilian death row. Of those on federal civilian death row, 24 were sentenced to death while George W. Bush was President. Four of the men on civilian death row are currently having their sentences reconsidered by the courts. Three more, who were scheduled to be executed in May of 2006 are having the method by which they are executed considered by the courts.

Everyone on federal death row is there for some form of aggravated murder. Statutes allow the death penalty in a small number of cases even where a victim has not been killed, but the death penalty has been carried out in such a case since 1963. The possible non-homicide grounds for the federal civilian death penalty are:
* Espionage
* Treason
* Trafficking in large quantities of drugs
* Attempting, authorizing or advising the killing of any officer, juror,or witness in cases involving a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, regardless of whether such killing actually occurs.

A small number of states, in theory, permit the death penalty for reasons other than aggravated murder (treating perjury causing execution as a form of murder). They are:

* Treason (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana)
* Train Wrecking (California)
* Aggravated Kidnapping (Idaho, Kentucky)
* Aircraft Hijacking (Georgia)
* Capital Drug Trafficking (Florida)
* Capital Sexual Battery (Florida)
* Aggravated Rape of Victim Under Age 12 (Louisiana)

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