First Federal Prisoner Executed in 17 Years A One-time White Supremacist Who is Convicted of A Triple Murder Was Given Death Row
The family of Daniel L. Lee’s victims was headed to Indiana to witness the first American execution at the federal level in nearly 17 years. Lee, a one-time white supremacist convicted in a triple murder, is scheduled to be put to death this past Monday. Hence Attorney General William Barr announced that the Trump administration reinstituted the use of capital punishment at the federal level, he stated that a debt was owed by the Justice Department, “to the victims and their families.”
Earlene Peterson – the 80-year-old, whose daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law were killed and dumped in a lake by Lee and his accomplice. But Peterson did not want capital murder to be done in her name. Therefore, Lee’s intended execution for Monday was not carried out. Just as the prison was steps away from Lee’s execution a court in Washington blocked the execution. The Justice Department appealed the ruling and challenged it up the grapevine to the Supreme Court. As of Friday, the government lost there too, delaying the execution of Lee and three other men while federal judges consider whether a new lethal injection protocol passes legal requirements.
This made Petterson even more determined to save the man’s life who killed her daughter, granddaughter, and son-in-law. “For one time in your life, lean to your better self and know that this is wrong. And I don’t want this done,” Peterson said. Peterson is not alone on this matter either, she has support from the trial judge presiding over the case, and the lead government prosecutor who is saying Lee’s death penalty is unjust. Lee’s accomplice has been sentenced to life in prison while Lee received the death penalty even though his accomplice was recognized as being the instigator.
Lee’s attorneys argued that scientists relied on discredited evidence while determining whether or not his mental health was suitable for prison. They also argued prosecutors misled the jury about a prior murder brought against Lee to prove he’d be a danger in prison and therefore should receive the death penalty. Two federal judges in Arkansas looked at the issues presented and decided that the jury would have refrained from a death sentence for Lee if the faulty evidence had not been included. The latest information on Lee’s legal team regarding the death sentence was rejected by an appeals court last week.