CHICAGO (AP) — As Donald Trump’s presidency winds down, his administration is ratcheting up the pace of federal executions despite a surge of coronavirus cases in prisons. The Bureau of Prisons has in recent weeks announced plans for five executions starting Thursday. The flurry would conclude just days before the presidential inauguration of death penalty foe Joe Biden. Attorney General William Barr defended the actions in an interview with The Associated Press, saying he’ll likely schedule more before leaving office. And Barr urged the Justice Department under Biden to continue executions unless Congress passes and Biden signs an abolition law.