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State Sends Blind Man to Electric Chair

Tennessee executes Lee Hall for 1991 murder
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2019 12:47 AM CST
This 2017 photo provided by the Tennessee Department of Correction shows Lee Hall, formerly known as Leroy Hall Jr.   (Tennessee Department of Correction via AP)
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(Newser) – Lee Hall never saw the chair he would be killed in. The 53-year-old convicted murderer was executed in Tennessee's electric chair Thursday night, making him the second blind man to be executed in the US since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. He was sentenced to die in 1992 for killing 22-year-old ex-girlfriend Tracy Crozier in 1991 by setting her on fire in her car. Witnesses said they saw smoke rising from Hall's head both times the lethal current was sent through his body, which public defender Kelley Henry said could be a sign that the execution had been botched, the Tennessean reports. A Department of Corrections witness, however, said what people saw was "a small amount of steam, not smoke."

Hall had his vision when he began his sentence, but his lawyers said he lost his sight due to improperly treated glaucoma, the AP reports. Hall asked for a glass of water before making his final statement, but the request was refused. He then said: "People can learn forgiveness and love and will make this world a better place." Hall chose the electric chair over lethal injection, as Tennessee death row inmates convicted before 1999 are allowed to do. "Hopefully today ending this monster's life will bring some peace within everyone who has had to suffer throughout these 28 years without my beautiful sister," said the victim's sister, Staci Wooten, who witnessed the execution. (Read more execution stories.)

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