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Joe Biden speaking in Wilmington, Delaware on Nov. 16. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden stressed his opposition to the federal death penalty on Saturday just after the Trump administration scheduled three executions of inmates on death row before his Jan. 20 inauguration.

Why it matters: The Justice Department on Friday directed the Bureau of Prisons to schedule three additional executions on top of two it has already scheduled for December.

Context: The Bureau of Prisons put Orlando Hall, 49, to death on Thursday. He was found guilty of kidnapping, raping and burying a Texas teenager alive in 1994.

  • Hall was the eighth inmate to be executed by the federal government this year following a 17-year hiatus. The DOJ has executed more people in 2020 than during the previous half-century, according to AP.
  • The last time the government carried out an execution between a presidential election and the inauguration of the new president was 1889, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center.

What they're saying: “The President-Elect opposes the death penalty, now and in the future, and as president will work to end its use," TJ Ducklo, press secretary for the Biden-Harris campaign, said in a statement on Saturday.

The big picture: Alfred Bourgeois is scheduled to be executed on Dec. 11. He was found guilty of murdering his 2 1/2-year-old daughter in 2004.

  • Cory Johnson's execution is planned for Jan. 14, 2021. He was found guilty of seven counts of capital murder, though his lawyers argue Johnson is intellectually disabled and therefore prohibited from being executed, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
  • Dustin Higgs is set to be executed on Jan. 15. He was convicted of ordering the murders of three women 1996. Higgs' attorneys argue he is intellectually disabled and receiving an "arbitrary and inequitable" punishment since the person who prosecutors claim carried out the killings did not receive the death penalty, according to AP.
  • All three are Black men, as was Hall.

Go deeper

Federal judge temporarily halts execution of only woman on death row

Demonstrators protest federal executions of death row inmates in Washington, D.C. Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday granted Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, a stay of execution just hours before she was scheduled to die by lethal injection at a federal prison complex in Indiana.

The state of play: Judge James Hanlon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana temporarily halted the execution so that a hearing could be held to determine Montgomery's mental competence. A date for the hearing has not yet been set, per CNN.

Updated 16 mins ago - World

Russia says it fired warning shots at British destroyer in Black Sea

The HMS Defender in the port of Odessa on Ukraine's Black Sea coast on June 18. Photo: Konstantin Sazonchik\TASS via Getty Images

Russia's defense ministry claimed Wednesday that a Russian warship and fighter jet fired "warning" shots at the British Royal Navy’s HMS Defender destroyer for encroaching on waters near Crimea in the Black Sea.

The latest: The U.K.'s ministry of defense disputed that any warning shots were fired, saying in a statement, "We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity."

Mike Allen, author of AM
Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

First look: WaPo Trump book's secret title revealed

Cover: Penguin Press

The Washington Post's Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker will be out July 20 with "I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year," Penguin Press announced.

Breaking: Axios has learned that The Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender is moving "Frankly, We Did Win the Election" up to July 20, matching Leonnig-Rucker, from his earlier pub date of Aug. 10.