AG Barr Drafts New Death Penalty Law

In the wake of a west Texas shooting rampage that killed seven people at the weekend, it has been revealed that the U.S. Attorney General, William Barr, has been drafting legislation to speed up the process leading to the death penalty in federal cases for people who commit such mass murder, officials said on Monday, Guardian writes.

Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short told journalists traveling on Air Force 2 en route for an official visit to Poland that the proposal would be among new gun legislation the Trump administration intends to pitch to Congress, which reconvenes next week. Short said Pence had communicated with Barr about the issue.

The White House has, by President Donald Trump’s own account, been working on ways to address gun violence after the recent mass shootings. Trump addressed the subject on Saturday after a gunman went on a high-speed drive in Midland and Odessa, Texas, spraying bullets from an assault rifle as he drove, before being killed by police.

The incident began soon after 3pm on Saturday when a man, later identified as the gunman, was stopped by state troopers for failing to signal a turn. He opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle then fled, hijacking a mail truck and shooting people at random.

The President did not set out any specifics when he reacted to the killings on Saturday. There has been no meaningful legislation on the issue in recent times and Trump has a record of bringing up gun control measures and then retreating quickly, Guardian adds.

FBI special agent Christopher Combs said the gunman involved in the west Texas rampage “was on a long spiral down” before he was fired from his job on the day of the shooting.

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