ST. LOUIS – Many around the country are calling on President Joe Biden to commute the sentences of all 49 people on death row. Among them is St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell.
This effort is being led by Representative Cori Bush of Missouri and Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
Bell is one of seven elected prosecutors from across the country that lent their names along with more than 100 others to a letter of support for the commutation of the prisoners on death row. That letter supported a letter that Bush and Pressley sent to Biden, co-signed by 35 other members of Congress.
The letters are dated January 22, 2021.
“In the last six months, we bore witness to the execution of thirteen people — more Americans put to death in those months than in the last six decades of this nation’s history. These thirteen deaths stand as an affront to the very legal system we operate in every day,” the letter signed by Bell and others said.
The letter sent to Biden by Bush and Pressley and other Congress members echoes that same sentiment.
“We must move our country towards accountability and healing. To do so, we must first acknowledge the moral depravity of federal executions. To date, 13 people have been killed by President Trump’s cruel injustice system: Daniel Lewis Lee, Wesley Ira Purkey, Dustin Lee Honken, Lezmond Charles Mitchell, Keith Dwayne Nelson, William Emmett Lecroy, Jr., Christopher Andre Vialva, Orlando Cordia Hall, Brandon Bernard, Alfred Bourgeois, Lisa Montgomery, Cory Johnson, and Dustin Higgs. Because of these horrific actions by the Trump administration, we hope to advocate for a justice system that seeks to rehabilitate and restore rather than penalize and execute,” the letter from Bush, Pressley and other members of Congress said.