Trump’s Government Has Executed More People This Year Than All 50 States Combined

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 18 Dec 2020 15:45
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Trump’s government has executed ten people this year – the most to have happened by the federal government since 1896.

Prior to him leaving office next month, the current President of The United States ordered a series of executions, five of which will have happened over a few weeks.


The first man to have been sent to death in Trump’s recent execution spree was 40-year-old Brandon Bernard. He was one of five gang members convicted in Texas of killing youth ministers Stacie and Todd Bagley in 1999.

But, despite Kim Kardashian-West’s efforts to stop Bernard’s execution, it was confirmed that he died on December 10 by lethal injection. Following his death going forward, Kardashian-West described the US justice system as ‘f*cked up’.

In the report published yesterday, December 17, it stated that 2020 saw ‘the federal government conducted more civilian executions than all of the states of the union combined.’ 59% of this year’s executions were conducted by them.


As it stands, California has the highest number of inmates on death row with 724 while the likes of Wyoming, New Hampshire and South Dakota have one person.

Discussing Trump’s governments executions, Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center and the report’s lead author, told CNN:

No president in the 20th or 21st century before this year presided over double-digit executions in any calendar year. The Trump administration has carried out ten in the space of five months.

You’d have to go back to 1896 and President Grover Cleveland’s second presidency to find this many federal civilian executions in a single year.

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The report also found that every single prisoner to have been executed this year had ‘one or more significant mental or emotional impairments’ such as mental illness, intellectual disability, brain damage, or chronic trauma.

It a also stated that they were under the age of 21 when they committed the crime they were executed for. Brandon Bernard, for example, was only 18 at the time of committing his crime.

However, while executions are reportedly at a high this year, the Death Penalty Information Center found that 2020 saw the ‘fewest new death sentences in modern era’ and that state executions were the lowest it has been in 37 years.

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The center said the ongoing pandemic had ‘unquestionably affected’ these historically low numbers. It does note that these low numbers were occurring pre-pandemic, though.

The report explained, ‘Even before the pandemic struck, the death sentences and executions in the first quarter of the year had put the United States on pace for a sixth consecutive year of 50 or fewer new death sentences and 30 or fewer execution.’

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, death penalty, Donald Trump, US News


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    The US government has executed 10 people this year -- the most since 1896

  2. Death Penalty Information Center

    The Death Penalty in 2020: Year End Report