Biden close to breaking his promise: he is running out of time to abolish the death penalty, as he promised voters in 2020

The lack of tangible progress has paved the way for Donald Trump to include the executions of drug traffickers in his electoral platform.

The date of the presidential elections is approaching, and everything indicates that Joe Biden will not fulfill the promise he made during his 2020 presidential campaign to abolish the death penalty. The lack of concrete progress on this issue has provided Donald Trump with the opportunity to commit to carrying out executions of drug traffickers as part of his election platform.

It has been more than three years since Biden took over the White House. However, the promise to end the death penalty at the federal level remains pending.

Since taking office, the president has considered several options to fulfill his promise, but until now, he has not promoted any legislation in Congress.

One option was to issue an executive order in January 2021, but the White House never did. Six months after Biden took office, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a moratorium on the federal death penalty, arguing the need for a more comprehensive study on the issue. While this action has prevented federal executions under the Biden administration, it has only temporarily suspended the death penalty without a truly definitive resolution.

Has Biden changed his position on capital punishment?

Although Biden was the first president to openly express his opposition to the death penalty, his initial commitment appears to have waned. In the 2020 campaign, his website stated that he would “work to pass legislation to eliminate the death penalty at the federal level and incentivize states to follow the federal government’s example,” according to Fox News Digital. However, similar language is no longer found on his website this year, suggesting that the death penalty is no longer a priority for Biden.

Trump vows to execute drug traffickers

In contrast, former President Trump has kept the death penalty a prominent topic in his campaign speeches, pledging to apply it to drug traffickers as part of his national approach to crime.

DOJ pushes for death penalty

The suspension of the death penalty has become more relevant recently, as the Department of Justice (DOJ) has pushed to apply it in specific cases. They include suspects charged in the mass shootings in Pittsburgh and Buffalo, New York: Payton Gendron, responsible for the deaths of 10 people at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo in 2022, and Robert Bowers, the perpetrator of the attack that resulted in the deaths of 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.