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Killing and the campaign trail: how Trump scheduled executions for political advantage 

The former occupant of the White House used the death sentence as an electoral tactic

By David Allen Green   March 2021

Illustration: Ian Morris

Imagine a serious punishment being carried out because very soon that sentence would be commuted by an incoming president. Inflicting that penalty in such a rush would be cruel. Imagine also if that punishment was rare. In particular, if the penalty, until its recent resumption, had not been used for 17 years—and only used three times in the previous 44. That would not be a usual punishment; it would be, by definition, unusual. And imagine if this recently resumed and rushed punishment was the ultimate penalty: the capital sentence of death. By the normal meanings of words, the imposition…

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