UPDATED 7/14 11:20 a.m. ET: Daniel Lewis Lee was executed early Tuesday following an overnight ruling from the Supreme Court. This marks the first federal execution in 17 years.
Per CNN, Lee was pronounced dead by a local Indiana coroner at 8:07 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
"It is shameful that the government saw fit to carry out this execution during a pandemic," Ruth Friedman, Lee's lawyer, said.
See original post from 7/13 below.
On Monday at a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, a federal inmate was set to be executed via lethal injection for the first time in 17 years. Then, as the Associated Press reports, a U.S. district judge ordered a delay in federal executions just hours before prisoner Daniel Lewis Lee was set to be executed.
U.S. district judge Tanya Chutkan has indicated there are still legal issues that need to be resolved before such capital punishments can go ahead. The Trump administration has pushed to carry out the death penalty in prisons across the country, and they would have been the first at a federal level since 2003. The administration has since appealed to a higher court, insisting that the executions should still go ahead. 47-year-old Daniel Lewis Lee of Yukon, Oklahoma was set to be executed on Monday for the 1996 murder of gun dealer William Mueller as well as Mueller's wife Nancy and 8-year-old daughter Sarah.
Lee was to be executed following the news that a federal appeals court lifted an injunction on Sunday, with the victims' family arguing they would be at high risk of contracting the coronavirus if they were to travel to attend the execution. Two other executions were scheduled for later this week, although civil rights groups and Lee's victims' family have been among those to criticize the move. The coronavirus has hit correctional facilities across the country particularly hard.
While Attorney General William Barr has said the death penalty can bring a sense of closure to victims and communities, relatives of those Lee killed have rejected his comments. "For us it is a matter of being there and saying, 'This is not being done in our name; we do not want this,'" said relative Monica Veillette.
"The federal government has put this family in the untenable position of choosing between their right to witness Danny Lee’s execution and their own health and safety," added family attorney Baker Kurrus.