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Trump administration to bring back federal death penalty

The Trump administration has just announced plans execute prisoners on federal death row, signalling an end to almost two decades in which the federal government has not imposed capital punishment.

There are currently 63 inmates on federal death row, and US Attorney-General William Barr says the administration plans to execute five of those prisoners as soon as December.

The first inmates to die will be those convicted of heinous crimes, including murders of children.

Only three federal inmates have been put to death in the last half century, the most recent of which was in 2003.

The Trump government’s announcement bucks national trends, with state executions declining steadily across the country.

There were 25 executions nationwide last year, down from 98 in 1999.

There is expected to be significant push back against the administration’s announcement, which may delay the executions.