High-profile Democratic representatives came out against the death penalty on Saturday after a man who brutally raped and buried a 16-year-old girl alive was finally executed in Indiana under the Trump administration.
Orlando Hall was executed by the state on Thursday evening for his part in kidnapping, raping, and murdering Lisa Rene in 1994 after he believed her brother had stolen money in a failed marijuana deal.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Hall – after he and his accomplices repeatedly raped her – “placed a sheet over Rene’s head and hit her in the head with a shovel. Rene screamed and tried to run away, but the men tackled her and took turns beating her with the shovel. After soaking her with gasoline, they dragged her into the grave and buried her alive.”
Hall was executed by lethal injection.
Hall was one of five men involved in the crime. One of his accomplices, Bruce Webster, received the same sentence but was ultimately not executed after being classed as “intellectually disabled.” Three others reportedly received lesser sentences in exchange for their cooperation at trial, including Hall’s brother.
Hall was recommended the death penalty after being found guilty in 1995 when former President Bill Clinton occupied the White House.
Prominent Democrats – including half of ‘the Squad’ – reacted to the execution of Hall by protesting the death penalty on Twitter.
“We must abolish the death penalty,” declared Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) in response to the Atlantic writer Clint Smith calling Hall’s execution “utterly cruel and barbaric.”
There will never be a day when the death penalty is anything other than utterly cruel and barbaric.
But this execution is made particularly horrific by the fact that Orlando Hall is the first person to be executed by a lame-duck administration in over one hundred years. https://t.co/zliC3e78QU
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) November 20, 2020
We must abolish the death penalty. https://t.co/5YuZQgDUci
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) November 20, 2020
Pressley’s tweet prompted Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) to add his own post that read, “Abolish the death penalty.”
Abolish the death penalty. https://t.co/k3c6n6CRJB
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) November 21, 2020
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) was the next to join in, posting the same: “Abolish the death penalty.”
Abolish the death penalty. https://t.co/oD1FY0jEmD
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) November 21, 2020
Georgia State House Rep. Beth Moore criticized the death penalty, branding it “nothing more than government-sanctioned revenge,” and questioning, “We do not rape rapists for the crime of raping, for if we did, which of us would volunteer to inflict that punishment?”
The death penalty is nothing more than government-sanctioned revenge.
We do not rape rapists for the crime of raping, for if we did, which of us would volunteer to inflict that punishment? https://t.co/bLfANSRB15
— Beth Moore, GA House Rep HD-95 (@MooreForGeorgia) November 21, 2020
On Friday, CNN’s Keith Boykin had also condemned Hall’s execution, attempting to portray it as a racial issue.
“Orlando Hall was executed last night. Hall was a Black man convicted by an all-white jury. He is the eighth person executed this year by the Trump administration,” Boykin declared. “There were no federal executions under Pres. Obama, and Biden plans to end them as well.”
Orlando Hall was executed last night. Hall was a Black man convicted by an all-white jury. He is the eighth person executed this year by the Trump administration.
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 20, 2020
President Trump resumed federal executions this year after over 17 years since the last. There were no federal executions under former President Barack Obama.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!