News In Brief

Senate backs execution for major federal crimes

The Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would restore the death penalty for major federal crimes such as treason or espionage and authorize it as punishment for attempted assassination of a president.

Existing federal law provides for the death penalty for treason, espionage, first-degree murder, felony murder, rape, and kidnapping.

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The new bill would add attempted presidential assassination and murders behind bars by prisoners serving life sentences.

The bill was approved 63 to 32 by the Republican-dominated Senate. It now goes to the House, where the Democrats have a majority.

Its fate there is unclear.

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