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First federal execution in US in 17 years STOPPED by judge hours before being carried out

First federal execution in US in 17 years STOPPED by judge hours before being carried out
A judge in Washington DC has ordered a delay in the execution of convicted murderer Daniel Lewis Lee. It would have been the first federal execution carried out in the US in more than 17 years, had it gone ahead.

Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled on Monday to postpone the executions of several death row inmates until further notice to allow legal challenges to the lethal injection procedure, which is used for federal executions.

Lee, a self-described white supremacist from Oklahoma, was sentenced to death for the brutal 1996 murder of a family of three, including an eight-year-old child. His life was expected to be ended a day after the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Indiana rejected a petition by relatives of the victims, who asked for a delay because they feared they could get infected with Covid-19 while attending the procedure.

Monday’s new ruling, however, ordered the US Department of Justice to delay four federal executions, including Lee’s, until a review of the government’s new one-drug lethal injection protocol is complete. Two more executions were scheduled for later in the week and a fourth one in August. They, too, involve convicted murderers of children.

Individual states such as Missouri or Texas regularly carry out the death penalty, with seven men executed this year alone. But the federal government maintained a de facto moratorium under the Barack Obama administration and have rarely used this form of punishment since the 1960s. The last federal execution happened in 2003.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has been seeking to resume federal executions, but the effort has been undermined by legal challenges, as well as the refusal of foreign suppliers to provide lethal drugs for this purpose.

Also on rt.com Trump DOJ to resume federal death penalty after 16-year break, schedules five executions – AG Barr

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