Politics

Cotton Demands Answers from DOJ About Reversal in Death Penalty Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: James Arnold or Mary Collins Atkinson (202) 224-2353

April 15, 2022

Washington, D.C. –Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding answers about his decision to stop seeking the death penalty in a case of a serial domestic abuser who killed Army Sergeant Brittney Niecol Silvers at her home on base at Fort Campbell.

In part, Cotton wrote, “The Department of Justice initially announced on February 25, 2021, its intent to seek the death penalty against Victor Everette Silvers, who murdered Army Sergeant Brittney Niecol Silvers on Fort Campbell in Kentucky in 2018”

“Yesterday, federal prosecutors filed a motion to withdraw the notice of intent to seek the death penalty, writing that the withdrawal was ‘authorized and directed by’ you on April 7, 2022. Why did you ‘authorize and direct’ this action? Has anything changed since February 25, 2021? Sgt. Silvers deserves justice,” Cotton continued.

Text of the letter may be found here and below.

The Honorable Merrick Garland

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Garland,

It’s come to my attention that the Department of Justice has decided to stop seeking the death penalty in the case of a serial domestic abuser who shot and murdered Brittney Niecol Silvers, a United States soldier, in front of her apartment on a U.S. Army base in 2018.

The Department of Justice initially announced on February 25, 2021, its intent to seek the death penalty against Victor Everette Silvers, who murdered Army Sergeant Brittney Niecol Silvers on Fort Campbell in Kentucky in 2018.  Sgt. Silvers was assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. Her estranged husband, Victor, was charged with premeditated murder in the case. 

Yesterday, federal prosecutors filed a motion to withdraw the notice of intent to seek the death penalty, writing that the withdrawal was “authorized and directed by” you on April 7, 2022.

Why did you “authorize and direct” this action? Has anything changed since February 25, 2021? Sgt. Silvers deserves justice. Please reply no later than 5:00PM on Wednesday, April 20, detailing the reasons for your decision to stop seeking the death penalty against her murderer.

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