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EXPLAINER: Biden inaction, death penalty mixed signals

In Boston, the Justice Department is asking judges to uphold the death sentence for marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A New York City jury is asking for the death penalty for a man who killed eight people in an attack on a bike lane.

President Joe Biden has pledged to work towards abolishing the federal death penalty but has not taken any serious steps in that direction. The Justice Department continues to push for the death penalty in some cases, even though it has put in place a moratorium that means federal executions are unlikely to happen anytime soon.

In a filing Tuesday, federal prosecutors said they would not be looking for him for Patrick Crusius, a 24-year-old accused of killing nearly two dozen people in the 2019 West Texas racist Walmart attack.

Abolitionists say the mixed signals from the administration and the silence of Biden – the first president to openly oppose the death penalty – prove that the Democrat has not delivered on the campaign promises that so rekindled their hopes.

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