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Pressley's Bill Would End Death Penalty As Feds Plan To Resume Executions

WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) -- Rep. Ayanna Pressley is leading Congressional pushback against the Trump administration's decision to resume executing death-row inmates for the first time since 2003.

Thursday's announcement by the Justice Department ends an informal moratorium on the death penalty at the federal level, even as the nation sees a broad shift away from capital punishment.

The Massachusetts Congresswoman tweeted "the death penalty has no place in a just society." She's introducing a short bill to abolish the death penalty in the United States.

"The same racist rhetoric coming from the occupant of the White House - who called for the execution of the Exonerated 5, is what led to this racist, vile policy," Pressley said in a statement. "It was wrong then and it's wrong now and I am proud to introduce a bill that completely abolishes the use of capital punishment as a punitive measure. The cruelty is the point - this is by design."

Pressley is a member of the "squad" – four Democratic Congresswomen of color told by President Donald Trump to "go back" to their countries despite all being American citizens.

Attorney General William Barr has instructed the Bureau of Prisons to schedule executions starting in December for five men, all accused of murdering children.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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