WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has notified the British government that it will not pursue the death penalty against two Islamic State militants suspected in the beheadings of Western hostages, removing a hurdle in the potential prosecution of the men in the United States.

The decision, revealed in a letter Wednesday from Attorney General William Barr to British Home Secretary Priti Patel, could allow Britain to began sharing evidence with federal prosecutors in the U.S for any potential case against El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey. An earlier British court ruling had effectively blocked the sharing of evidence without U.S. assurances that the death penalty, which was abolished in the United Kingdom, was off the table.

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