A year ago, for the first time in almost two decades, the Department of Justice announced the resumption of the death penalty in federal affairs, and Attorney General William Barr announced that the process of executing five suicide bombers in court should move forward, noting first federal executions since 2003,
The first federal execution in 17 years was to take place on Monday of this next week before a federal judge in Indiana stops her. 47-year-old Daniel Lee must die from a fatal injection for killing a family in 1996 – William Mueller, his wife Nancy and her 8-year-old daughter Sarah Powell.
But the chief district judge, Jane Magnus-Stinson, in an unusual ruling stopped the planned execution amid concerns about the coronavirus. She pointed out that victims’ families are too afraid to travel during a pandemic.and the potential risk for older family members at the place of execution, given that COVID-19 has especially devastated prisons and correctional facilities.
The victims’ family filed suit on Tuesday to receive execution date rescheduled:
Erlene Peterson, mother of Nancy Muller and grandmother of 8-year-old Sarah Powell, two of three brutally murdered in 1996, says the coronavirus is too much a threat to travel to leave her home in Hector to travel to Indiana,
Lee should be put to death on Monday at the Terre Haute federal prison right now, but a lawsuit filed on Tuesday could change that.
In it, Peterson’s lawyer discovers numerous health conditions of various family members that can be fatal if one of them becomes infected with the coronavirus during a trip to execution.
Due to the delay, the Department of Justice said it would appeal the decision of Magnus-Stinson to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Two more executions are planned in Terra Hot next week, as this is the only federal prison that has a functioning death chamber. Judge’s decision by Lee does not affect this.
Men awaiting federal death sentences have been implicated in heinous crimes involving deaths of families and children“In January 1996, Lee and his accomplice Chevy Kehoe hacked into Müller’s house in Tilly and waited for him, his wife and stepdaughter, to return home. Lee and Kehoe used a stun gun to neutralize the victims before sticking plastic bags to their heads. to strangle them, authorities said.
Until the end of federal executions in 2003, perhaps the most famous criminal who was put to death was Timothy McVeigh in 2001, for killing 168 people as a result of an explosion in Oklahoma City, and recent death sentences awaiting execution include Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in 2015 for an explosion in the Boston marathonand white supremacist Dylanne Ruf in 2017 shooting at a church in Charleston.