Daniel Lee was pronounced dead this morning (07-14-2020) at 8:07am at the Federal Prison in Terre Haute. His execution had been scheduled for 4:00pm the day before. Time and time again, the execution was stayed and then lifted. At 2:00am the U.S. Supreme court voted 5-4 to lift the stay. At 4:00am Daniel Lee was strapped to the gurney. Four hours later, he was killed.
Victims’ family members opposed the execution. Three had serious health problems and were worried about exposure to the pandemic at the prison. However, they said they would attend to protest Lee’s execution.
The following is a statement from Ruth Friedman, attorney for Daniel Lee:
“It is important for everyone to understand exactly what happened last night to our client, Daniel Lewis Lee. At 2 AM on July 14, while the country was sleeping, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision vacating the injunction that had been in place against the first federal execution in 17 years. Within minutes, the Department of Justice moved to re-set Danny Lee’s execution–for 4 AM, summoning media and witnesses back to the prison in the very middle of the night. When it was brought to the government’s attention that a court stay still remained in place, the DOJ first maintained that that stay presented no legal impediment to executing Danny Lee, but then filed an “emergency” motion to lift the stay.
“Over the four hours it took for this reckless and relentless government to pursue these ends, Daniel Lewis Lee remained strapped to a gurney: a mere 31 minutes after a court of appeals lifted the last impediment to his execution at the federal government’s urging, while multiple motions remained pending, and without notice to counsel, he was executed.
“It is shameful that the government saw fit to carry out this execution during a pandemic. It is shameful that the government saw fit to carry out this execution when counsel for Danny Lee could not be present with him, and when the judges in his case and even the family of his victims urged against it. And it is beyond shameful that the government, in the end, carried out this execution in haste, in the middle of the night, while the country was sleeping. We hope that upon awakening, the country will be as outraged as we are.”
— Ruth Friedman, attorney for Daniel Lee and Director, Federal Capital Habeas Project –July 14, 2020
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Attorney Statement link: https://tinyurl.com/yapfxygd