(PatriotHeadline.com)- The United States federal government carried out its first execution in nearly 20 years on Tuesday, killing a convicted murderer by lethal injection. The man was convicted of murdering a family in Arkansas in the 90s and plotting to start a whites-only nation.
Daniel Lewis Lee was execution followed days of legal arguments, and he argued until the moment he was killed that he was innocent. The 47-year-old man from Yukon, Oklahoma professed that innocent right until his last breath.
“I didn’t do it,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I’m not a murderer.”
Lee’s final words before being administered the lethal injection were, “You’re killing an innocent man.”
It was the first execution carried out by the Bureau of Prisons since 2003, and two other executions are expected to take place later this week. The decision has drawn a great deal of criticism and scrutiny even from the relatives of Lee’s victims. The relatives of the people Lee is understood to have killed even sued to try and stop the execution, using the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a chance to delay or stop the proceedings. Civil rights groups also opposed the decision.
Ruth Friedman, one of several lawyers representing Lee, told the media that it was “shameful that the government saw fit to carry out this execution during a pandemic.”
“And it is beyond shameful that the government, in the end, carried out this execution in haste,” she added.
The decision to move forward with the execution came when the Supreme Court stepped into intense legal volleys. On Tuesday, the highest court in the land ruled 5-4 in favor of going ahead with the execution. William Barr, the United States Attorney General, told the media that the Justice Department has a duty to carry out any sentence imposed by the court. That includes the death penalty.
Relatives of Lee’s victims, however, said that he deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison. One relative, Monica Veillette, said that they fought against the ruling so they could say, “This is not being done in our name; we do not want this.”
A hold was placed on the execution by a District Court Judge on Monday, but it was ultimately overturned by the high court.
What do you think – should the COVID outbreak impact executions at all?