Daniel Lewis Lee: judge blocks first federal execution in 17 years


Lee is scheduled to be executed on Monday, which would be the first federal execution in 17 years.

Justice Tanya Chutkan’s injunction in Washington, DC, applies to three other death row inmates: Wesley Ira Purkey, Dustin Lee Honken and Keith Dwayne Nelson.

On Monday evening, the United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the Department of Justice’s request to stay the injunction. The Department of Justice also appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.

Three other appeals to delay execution are also pending before the Supreme Court. One concerns the families of Lee’s victims who are worried about traveling and going to federal prison during the coronavirus pandemic. A second concerns the evidence presented by prosecutors during his sentencing hearing.

Lee, a former white supremacist who killed a family of three, was originally scheduled to be executed in December, but his case was delayed after the courts blocked the execution of the death penalty.Earlene Peterson – whose daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law were tortured, killed and thrown into a lake by Lee and an accomplice – opposed the execution of Lee, telling CNN last year that she didn’t want it done in her name.

Lee’s execution has long been expected to be the time when the federal government resumed realizing the plight of death row inmates after a series of court decisions in recent months.

In December, the Supreme Court confirmed a lower court preventing the execution of the death penalty last year. But an appeals court decided in April that the executions could go ahead, and Attorney General William Barr set new dates for Lee and three other men in June. Since then, the men’s lawyers have made several efforts to delay the executions, including the trial which was filed this week by the families of Lee’s victims.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.


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