The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Data: Pew Research CenterDeath Penalty Information Center; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Where it stands: Over half of U.S. states that authorize the death penalty haven't used it in at least 5 to 10 years, according to Pew data.

  • 7 states put 22 people to death in 2019, primarily in Texas, according to year-end data from the nonprofit advocacy group Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC).
  • 2019 was America's fifth consecutive year with fewer than 30 executions, per BJS and DPIC data.
  • 3 people have been executed in 2020: One in Texas, one in Tennessee and the latest in Alabama, per DPIC.

Driving the news: Five executions scheduled by the Justice Department are postponed, after the Supreme Court refused to overturn a federal judge's decision that renewing federal capital punishment could violate the Federal Death Penalty Act, per the Wall Street Journal.

  • The January executions of Alfred Bourgeois and Dustin Lee Honken — originally set for Jan. 13 and 15 — have been paused as the injunction against the DOJ's execution renewal works through lower courts.
  • The execution of Lezmond Mitchell was blocked separately by the San Francisco federal appeals court over an ongoing review of possible anti-Native American bias in his case, AP reports.

Of note: Attorney General Bill Barr ordered the DOJ's newly scheduled executions to be carried out with only one drug, pentobarbital. The U.S. government has historically used a three-drug cocktail for lethal injections, per the DPIC — which carry a fraught history.

  • The Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the sedative midazolam, when used in a three-drug combo for executions, does not violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
  • The court's decision followed a botched Oklahoma execution in 2014 that took 40 excruciating minutes and induced a heart attack in the condemned. The Supreme Court had not debated the painlessness of those drugs since 2008, per the Washington Post.
  • The DOJ declared in May that the Food and Drug Administration has no authority to regulate drugs used to carry out the death penalty.

Go deeper: Where the death penalty survives around the world

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Facebook boycott organizers share details on their Zuckerberg meeting

Facebook is in the midst of the largest ad boycott in its history, with nearly 1,000 brands having stopped paid advertising in July because they feel Facebook hasn't done enough to remove hate speech from its namesake app and Instagram.

Axios Re:Cap spoke with the boycott's four main organizers, who met on Tuesday with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives, to learn why they organized the boycott, what they took from the meeting, and what comes next.

Boycott organizers slam Facebook following tense virtual meeting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Civil rights leaders blasted Facebook's top executives shortly after speaking with them on Tuesday, saying that the tech giant's leaders "failed to meet the moment" and were "more interested in having a dialogue than producing outcomes."

Why it matters: The likely fallout from the meeting is that the growing boycott of Facebook's advertising platform, which has reached nearly 1000 companies in less than a month, will extend longer than previously anticipated, deepening Facebook's public relations nightmare.

Steve Scalise PAC invites donors to fundraiser at Disney World

Photo: Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s PAC is inviting lobbyists to attend a four-day “Summer Meeting” at Disney World's Polynesian Village in Florida, all but daring donors to swallow their concern about coronavirus and contribute $10,000 to his leadership PAC.

Why it matters: Scalise appears to be the first House lawmakers to host an in-person destination fundraiser since the severity of pandemic became clear. The invite for the “Summer Meeting” for the Scalise Leadership Fund, obtained by Axios, makes no mention of COVID-19.