There is one inmate from Michigan on federal death row – Marvin Gabrion

Posted at 3:52 PM, Jul 25, 2019

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said that the government will begin executing federal death row inmates or the first time since 2003, and one of those inmates on death row is from Michigan.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there are 62 people who are currently on federal death row. Marvin Gabrion, who is now 65, is the only one from Michigan. He is currently at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.

According to the center, Gabrion was sentenced to death in 2002 for a 1997 murder in the Manistee National Forest. Despite the state not having the death penalty, he was sentenced under the federal system because the victim was killed on federal property.

The center said that at the time, Gabrion's case was the first federal death sentence given to an inmate in a state that doesn't have the death penalty.

According to the Justice Department, five inmates who were given death sentences will be executed starting in December, all within a six week period. Gabrion is not among the five who will be executed.

In 2014, following a botched state execution in Oklahoma, then-President Barack Obama directed the department to conduct a review of capital punishment and issues surrounding lethal injection drugs.

That review has been completed, the department said, and it has cleared the way for executions to resume.

In a statement, Attorney General William Barr said the "Justice Department upholds the rule of law — and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system."

Barr approved a new procedure for lethal injections that replaces the three-drug cocktail previously used in federal execution with a single drug, pentobarbital. This is similar to the procedure used in several states, including Georgia, Missouri and Texas.

Some of the highest-profile inmates on federal death row include Dylann Roof, who killed nine black church members during a Bible study session in 2015 at a South Carolina church, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who set off bombs near the Boston Marathon's finish line in 2013, killing three people and wounding more than 260.