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AFP
July 14, 2020

US judge delays first federal execution in 17 years

World

AFP
July 14, 2020

WASHINGTON: US judge ordered a delay on Monday of the first federal execution in the United States in 17 years — the death by lethal injection of a former white supremacist scheduled to be carried out later in the day. Daniel Lewis Lee, 47, of Yukon, Oklahoma, and another man were convicted of murdering a family of three in 1996 during a robbery intended to help fund the founding of an “Aryan Peoples Republic. Lee was scheduled to be executed at 4:00 pm (2000 GMT) at Terre Haute prison in the midwestern state of Indiana, the first of three federal inmates whose executions were to take place this week. But US District Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered the executions halted to allow for legal challenges to the lethal injection that was to be used. Chutkan said the use of a single drug, pentobarbital, to carry out the executions could cause “extreme pain and needless suffering” and may violate a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. “The public is not served by short-circuiting legitimate judicial process,” the judge said. The Justice Department immediately appealed the judge´s order to a higher court and the Supreme Court may eventually have the final say.