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First Federal Execution in 17 Years Is Delayed Again

Judge says legal issues haven't been resolved
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 13, 2020 12:07 AM CDT
Updated Jul 13, 2020 9:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – A US district judge on Monday ordered a new delay in federal executions, hours before the first lethal injection was scheduled to be carried out at a federal prison in Indiana, per the AP. The administration is certain to ask a higher court to allow the executions to move forward. US District Judge Tanya Chutkan said there are still legal issues to resolve and that "the public is not served by short-circuiting legitimate judicial process." The executions, pushed by the Trump administration, would be the first carried out at the federal level since 2003.

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The new hold on executions came a day after a federal appeals court lifted a hold on the execution of Daniel Lewis Lee of Yukon, Okla., which was scheduled for 4pm ET at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. He was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell. (Another issue: A Bureau of Prisons staffer tested positive for COVID-19.)

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