First federal execution in 17 years to take place in the United States
The execution of Daniel Lewis Lee, who was convicted of killing three members of the same family in 1996, will take place in Indiana on Monday.
The first federal execution in the United States in 17 years will take place on Monday (13 July), after a ruling by a federal appeals court on Sunday.
The court determined that the Justice Department could carry out the execution as planned after rejecting an appeal from family members of the victims of a crime committed by Daniel Lewis Lee, who argued they could not attend the execution because of Covid-19.
According to The New York Times, the family plan to take their appeal to the Supreme Court, but action would have to be taken by 4pm on Monday (9pm GMT) in order to prevent the execution from going ahead.
In 1996, Daniel Lewis Lee was sentenced to death for his part in the torture and murder of a family of three in Indiana.
He had been scheduled to be executed in December after the Trump administration restored the federal death penalty in July 2019, a move which has been subject to delays in the time since due to legal challenges.
The Justice Department is now set to proceed with a number of executions, including four before the end of August and three this week, including Lee. All four executions before the end of next month are related to the murder of children.
A number of members of the family of Lee’s victims have called for his sentence to be changed to a life sentence in prison, the same punishment handed down to an accomplice who committed the crime with Lee in 1996.
Should the appeal to the Supreme Court prove unsuccessful, however, Lee’s execution by lethal injection will go ahead on Monday.