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for the first time in nearly two decades the US government will resume its use of capital punishment Attorney General William Barr announced Thursday that the justice department has scheduled the executions of five federal death row inmates the first of which will take place this December despite a moratorium that stretches back to two thousand three when the last federal execution took place a reversal in policy has been in the works from almost the moment Donald Trump took office says Reuters correspondent Sarah Lynch early on in the administration Attorney General Jeff sessions %HESITATION was it was exploring this very issue about how they might be able to resume using lethal injection for federal inmates this has been something that has been put on ice for a long time now because of pending litigation over the drugs that were being used to come to conduct these executions the five death row inmates will be executed by lethal injection using a single drug pentobarbital in recent years death penalty opponents and inmates have argued in lawsuits that a drug cocktail consisting of at least three chemicals cause severe suffering before death in twenty fifteen the Supreme Court upheld the use of pentobarbital it is used alone in fourteen of the twenty nine states where the death penalty is legal although it's still great topic of %HESITATION disagreement and it is highly contentious a lot of people are still very concerned about this drug and whether or not it will impose or inflict pain and suffering on people once they're injected with it push back on the reinstatement of the federal death penalty was swift the Senate judiciary committee's ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein said quote it's time we evolve and put this terrible practice behind us and the American civil liberties union said it was out of step with the views of most Americans the United Nations secretary general believes the practice should not happen anywhere all of the European Union nations for instance have abolished this practice , a lot of %HESITATION countries around the world consider the United States %HESITATION to be cruel and they don't understand why we still use the death penalty in this country there are currently sixty two federal inmates on death row including Jowhar Sir Nayef who planted a deadly bomb at the Boston Marathon in twenty thirteen