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.

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

The Justice Department appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Two other appeals seeking to delay execution are also pending in the Supreme Court. One refers to the family of Lee’s victims who are concerned about traveling and going to federal prison during the coronavirus pandemic. The second refers to the evidence presented by prosecutors during their sentencing hearing.

Lee, a former white supremacist who killed a family of three, was originally scheduled for execution in December, but his case was delayed after courts blocked the execution of the death sentence.

Earlene Peterson, whose daughter, granddaughter, and son-in-law were tortured, killed, and thrown into a lake by Lee and an accomplice, has opposed Lee’s execution and told CNN last year that he did not want it done on his behalf.

It is anticipated that Lee’s scheduled execution will be the time when the federal government once again began to fulfill the fate of death row inmates after a series of court decisions in recent months.

In December, the Supreme Court confirmed a lower court that blocked the execution of the death sentence last year. But an appeals court decided in April that executions could move forward, and Attorney General William Barr set new dates for Lee and three other men in June. Since then, the men’s attorneys have made several last-minute efforts to delay executions, including the lawsuit filed this week by the family of Lee’s victims.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.


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