Native American's Last Words: 'No, I'm Good'

Lezmond Mitchell has died by lethal injection in Indiana
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 26, 2020 7:00 PM CDT
Only Native American on Feds' Death Row Is Executed
Anti-death penalty protesters ring a bell at the scheduled execution time as they gather across the street from the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(Newser) – The only Native American on federal death row was put to death Wednesday, despite objections from many Navajo leaders who had urged President Trump to halt the execution on the grounds it would violate tribal culture and sovereignty, the AP reports. With the execution of Lezmond Mitchell for the grisly slayings of a 9-year-old and her grandmother, the federal government has now carried out more executions in 2020 than it had in the previous 56 years combined. Asked by a prison official if he had any last words for victims' family members and other witnesses behind glass at the death chamber, Mitchell casually responded, "No, I'm good." Moments later, prison officials began the lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Mitchell lay flat on his back, his glasses still on and a medical mask across his face as the lethal drug flowed to IVs in his hands and forearms. His chest heaved and his thumb tapped the gurney, as his breathing appeared more labored and his stomach area began to throb. About 10 minutes later, Mitchell no longer appeared to move and his partially tattooed hands turned pale. An official with a stethoscope checked for a pulse and listened to Mitchell's heart before he was declared dead at 6:29pm EDT. Several anti-death penalty activists protested across the street, but the Indianapolis Star reports that an attorney for the slain girl's father said this: "I will never get Tiffany back, but I hope that this will bring some closure." (Read about the Navajo Nation's opposition to Mitchell's execution.)

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