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DOJ seeks expedited executions for mass murderers with new proposal

It will be a part of a larger legislative package

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Department of Justice has drafted legislation that would speed up the execution of people convicted of committing mass murder, according to Bloomberg.

Attorney General William Barr and Vice President Mike Pence have been collaborating on the legislation, according to Pence's chief of staff Marc Short.

The proposal is expected to be presented to Congress after August recess as part of a legislative package focused on addressing gun violence.

That package could include measures President Donald Trump has expressed support for in recent weeks, including red flag legislation, stronger background checks, and reforms surrounding diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions.

There have been three recent mass killings that have revitalized the gun control debate. In two of them, the gunman was killed at the scene. Critics of this proposed legislation have questioned whether the death penalty would be a deterrent for criminals willing to commit a crime that carries a high probability of resulting in their death.

President Trump on Monday, after seven were shot and killed in Odessa, Texas, over the weekend, did not mention stronger background checks in his remarks, something he was supportive of after the mass murders in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, last month.

"It would be wonderful to say — to say 'eliminate,' but we want to substantially reduce the violent crime — and actually, in any form," President Trump said. "This includes strong measures to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous and deranged individuals, and substantial reforms to our nation's broken mental health system. To reduce violence, we must also ensure that criminals with guns are put behind bars and kept off the streets."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pointed out that the gunman in Odessa had a criminal history, and once failed a background check for a gun purchase in Texas. Abbott said the gun used in the mass murder was obtained without a background check.

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