America hides its state executions deep inland. The central US death chamber is located in the Midwest, on the edge of a maximum security prison in Indiana. The road that leads to the flat brick building is called Justice Road.
Thanks to a moratorium on the death penalty, the green-tiled room in the United States Penitentiary Terre Haute remained unused for 17 years. It was only used again under Donald Trump – and recently more often than ever before. “November and December,” said a supervisor happily after information from the local TV station Fox59, “will hopefully be very busy.”
Although more Americans oppose the death penalty, the Trump administration resumed federal executions in the summer. In the five months since then, ten delinquents have been executed. That’s as many as in the previous seven decades combined.
Executions at the federal level were rare, even before the moratorium. Most procedures leading to the death penalty are a matter for individual states; the US Department of Justice only intervenes in special cases. That has changed under Trump: He has even accelerated the outstanding enforcements.