cruel and unusual punishment

Eric Holder Calls for Temporary Halt on U.S. Executions

Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the media following a vote in the House of Representatives at the U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District of Louisiana office on June 28, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The House has voted to hold Attourney General Holder in contempmt of Congress.
Eric Holder. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

On Tuesday judges in Florida and Alabama granted stays to two inmates scheduled to be executed this month as the U.S. Supreme Court considers an Oklahoma case that will decide whether the use of the sedative midazolam in lethal injections is constitutional. During a luncheon at the National Press Club, Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes all states should follow suit. “I think a moratorium until the Supreme Court makes that decision would be appropriate,” he said. Holder added that he’s personally opposed to the death penalty because there’s always the possibility that “mistakes will be made” in our justice system. “It is one thing to put somebody in jail for an extended period of time, have some new test that you can do and determine that person was, in fact, innocent,” he said. “There is no ability to correct a mistake where somebody has, in fact, been executed. And that is from my perspective the ultimate nightmare.”

Eric Holder Calls for Halt on U.S. Executions