Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes Justice Department Freeze on Federal Executions

Civil rights group cites rate of overturned convictions and disproportionate use against poor and minority defendants

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/2/21) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, today welcomed Attorney General Merrick Garland’s decision to impose a moratorium on scheduling federal executions pending a departmental review of policies and procedures on capital punishment.  

In making his decision, Garland cited its capricious application and disproportionate impact on people of color. 

SEE: The Justice Department is pausing federal executions after they resumed under Trump

In 2019, the U.S. Justice Department reinstated a policy allowing the government’s use of capital punishment. Thirteen inmates were put to death in the previous president’s final year in office.  

SEE: U.S. Justice Department Resumes Use of Death Penalty, Schedules Five Executions

In In a statement, CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said: 

“We welcome Attorney General Garland’s decision to place a freeze on federal executions and we reiterate our longstanding call for a nationwide moratorium on the use of the death penalty due to flaws in the system that lead to false convictions, as well as a disproportionate impact on defendants who lack access to proper legal representation, particularly people of color. We also renew our call for Congress to adopt legislation mandating a similar federal moratorium on the use of the death penalty for the same reasons.” 


CAIR has in the past called for a state and national moratorium on the death penalty. 

SEE: CAIR Calls for Moratorium on Death Penalty Following Execution of Troy Davis 

CAIR-California Applauds Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Order to Halt Executions

CAIR Commends Penn. Governor Tom Wolf for Moratorium on Death Penalty 

CAIR-MI Rep Speaks in Support of Death Penalty Moratorium 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.       

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.       

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,  

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