Header Ads

White supremacist Daniel Lewis Lee - who murdered family of three - is put to death by lethal injection in first federal execution in 17 years as he screams 'I didn't do it' just hours after Supreme Court's 5-4 vote

The US government has executed the first federal inmate in almost two decades just hours after the Supreme Court cleared the way overnight with a 5-4 vote. 
Daniel Lewis Lee, 47, of Yukon, Oklahoma, died by lethal injection this morning at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Lee, a self-confessed white supremacist, was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell. 
'I didn't do it,' Lee said just moments before he was executed at 8.07am EDT. 
'I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I'm not a murderer... You're killing an innocent man.' 
His execution, which came over the objection of the victims' family, was carried out after a series of legal volleys that ended when the Supreme Court stepped in early Tuesday in a 5-4 ruling and allowed it to move forward. 
The decision to move forward with the execution - the first by the Bureau of Prisons since 2003 - has drawn scrutiny from civil rights groups and the relatives of Lee's victims, who had sued to try to halt it.
Critics have argued that the Trump administration, which has been pushing for the executions, was creating an unnecessary and manufactured urgency for political gain. 
Lee, a self-confessed white supremacist, was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife Nancy, (pictured above) and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell. He carried out the killings with his co-defendant Chevie Kehoe who received a life sentence
Lee, a self-confessed white supremacist, was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife Nancy, (pictured above) and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell. He carried out the killings with his co-defendant Chevie Kehoe who received a life sentence
Prosecutors said Lee and Kehoe incapacitated the Muellers and questioned eight-year-old Sarah (pictured) about where they could find money and ammunition. Then, they used stun guns on the victims, sealed trash bags with duct tape on their heads to suffocate them, taped rocks to their bodies and dumped them in a nearby bayou
Prosecutors said Lee and Kehoe incapacitated the Muellers and questioned eight-year-old Sarah (pictured) about where they could find money and ammunition. Then, they used stun guns on the victims, sealed trash bags with duct tape on their heads to suffocate them, taped rocks to their bodies and dumped them in a nearby bayou
Two other federal inmates are also scheduled to be executed later this week.  
'The government has been trying to plow forward with these executions despite many unanswered questions about the legality of its new execution protocol,' said Shawn Nolan, one of the attorneys for the men facing federal execution.
The developments are likely to add a new front to the national conversation about criminal justice reform in the lead-up to the 2020 elections.
Lee's execution was scheduled for Monday afternoon but was put on hold just hours earlier by a US District Court judge over concerns from death row inmates on how executions were to be carried out.
An appeals court upheld the decision, but the high court overturned it. 
That delay came after an appeals court on Sunday overturned a hold that had been put in place last week after the victims' relatives argued they would be put at high risk for the coronavirus if they had to travel to attend the execution.
Lee's execution was then set to happen at 4am EDT, but a last-minute legal question was raised by his lawyers. The Justice Department said in a statement it filed a request with the court to straighten it out but went through with the execution. 
A US Marshal lifted a black telephone inside the execution room - a small square room inside the prison with green tiles and windows looking at the witness rooms - and asked if there was anything to impede the execution. 
He said there was not and the execution could proceed. 
The decision to move forward with the execution at thefederal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana - the first by the Bureau of Prisons since 2003 - has drawn scrutiny from civil rights groups and the relatives of Lee's victims, who had sued to try to halt it
The decision to move forward with the execution at thefederal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana - the first by the Bureau of Prisons since 2003 - has drawn scrutiny from civil rights groups and the relatives of Lee's victims, who had sued to try to halt it 
The Trump administration is moving ahead with the first execution of a federal prison inmate in 17 years after the Supreme Court reversed the decision of a lower court. Self-confessed white supremacist  Daniel Lewis Lee, pictured in 1997, is now set to be executed on Tuesday
Daniel Lewis Lee, 47, of Yukon, Oklahoma, died by lethal injection this morning at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is pictured above waiting for his arraignment in Arkansas in October 1997
Lee had a pulse oximeter on a finger of his left hand and his arms were in black restraints. The IV tubes were coming through a metal panel in the wall.
He breathed heavily before the drug was injected and moved his legs and feet. As the drug was being administered, he raised his head to look around. In a few moments, his chest was no longer moving.
Lee was in the execution chamber with two men who the Bureau of Prisons would only identify as 'senior BOP officials,' a US Marshal and his spiritual adviser, who a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson described as an 'Appalachian pagan minister'. 
They did not wear masks and Lee was also not wearing a mask. 
Attorney General William Barr has said the Justice Department has a duty to carry out the sentences imposed by the courts, including the death penalty, and to bring a sense of closure to the victims and those in the communities where the killings happened.
But relatives of those killed by Lee in 1996 strongly opposed that idea and long argued that Lee deserved a sentence of life in prison. 
They wanted to be present to counter any contention that the execution was being done on their behalf but argued they would be put at high risk for COVID-19 if they attended. 
'For us it is a matter of being there and saying, 'This is not being done in our name; we do not want this',' relative Monica Veillette said. 
The relatives noted that Lee's co-defendant and the reputed ringleader, Chevie Kehoe, received a life sentence. 
Protesters gathered outside the prison this morning ahead of Lee's execution. The decision to move forward with the execution - the first by the Bureau of Prisons since 2003 - drew scrutiny from civil rights groups and the relatives of Lee´s victims, who had sued to try to halt it, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic
Protesters gathered outside the prison this morning ahead of Lee's execution. The decision to move forward with the execution - the first by the Bureau of Prisons since 2003 - drew scrutiny from civil rights groups and the relatives of Lee´s victims, who had sued to try to halt it, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic
Critics argued that the government was creating an unnecessary and manufactured urgency for political gain. Protesters are gathered outside Terre Haute
Critics argued that the government was creating an unnecessary and manufactured urgency for political gain. Protesters are gathered outside Terre Haute 
Protesters gathered outside the prison ahead of Lee's execution. It went off after a series of legal volleys that ended when the Supreme Court stepped in early Tuesday in a 5-4 ruling and allowed it to move forward
Protesters gathered outside the prison ahead of Lee's execution. It went off after a series of legal volleys that ended when the Supreme Court stepped in early Tuesday in a 5-4 ruling and allowed it to move forward
Kehoe, of Colville, Washington, recruited Lee in 1995 to join his white supremacist orgaization, known as the Aryan Peoples' Republic. 
Two years later, they were arrested for the killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell, in Tilly, Arkansas, about 75 miles northwest of Little Rock.
Lee and Kehoe dressed in police raid clothing and lay in wait for Mueller in his home the night of the murders, according to court documents.
When the Muellers returned home, Lee and Kehoe overpowered and incapacitated Mueller and his wife.
They then interrogated the couple's young daughter, Sarah, about where they could find cash, guns, and munitions. 
The home invaders found and took roughly $50,000 in cash, guns and ammunition. 
After robbing and torturing the victims with a stun gun, prosecutors said Lee covered their heads with plastic bags, sealed the bags with duct tape, weighed down each victim with rocks, and threw the family of three into the Illinois Bayou. 
The bodies of the three victims were found five months after they went missing. 
On May 4, 1999, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas found Lee guilty of numerous offenses, including three counts of murder in aid of racketeering, and he was sentenced to death. 
Lee has remained on death row since his conviction.  
Kehoe was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences and is imprisoned in Florence High Penitentiary in Fremont County, Colorado. 
Guards man a roadbloack at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute where Lee was executed
Guards man a roadbloack at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute where Lee was executed
Guards stand outside Terre Haute ahead of Lee's execution. Two other federal executions are scheduled for later this week, though one is on hold in a separate legal claim
Guards stand outside Terre Haute ahead of Lee's execution. Two other federal executions are scheduled for later this week, though one is on hold in a separate legal claim
Wesley Ira Purkey, 68, of Kansas, will be executed for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl and an 80-year-old woman
Dustin Lee Honken, 52, who killed five people in Iowa, including two children also is scheduled for execution
Also scheduled for execution is Keith Dwayne Nelson, 45, who was convicted for kidnapping a 10-year-old girl before raping and killing her in 1999
Lee's execution is just one of three to take place this week. Inmates (left to right) Wesley Ira Purkey, 68 and Dustin Lee Honken, 52, are set to die in the coming days and Keith Dwayne Nelson, 45, will be executed in August by order of US Attorney General William Barr
Two other federal executions are scheduled for later this week but one is already on hold in a separate legal claim. 
There have been two state executions in the US since the pandemic forced shutdowns nationwide in mid-March - one in Texas and one in Missouri, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. 
Alabama carried out one in early March. 
Executions on the federal level have been rare and the government has put to death only three defendants since restoring the federal death penalty in 1988 - most recently in 2003 when Louis Jones was executed for the 1995 kidnapping, rape and murder of a young female soldier.
Though there hadn't been a federal execution since 2003, the Justice Department has continued to approve death penalty prosecutions and federal courts have sentenced defendants to death.
In 2014, following a botched state execution in Oklahoma, President Barack Obama directed the Justice Department to conduct a broad review of capital punishment and issues surrounding lethal injection drugs.
The attorney general said last July that the Obama-era review had been completed, clearing the way for executions to resume. 
He approved a new procedure for lethal injections that replaces the three-drug combination previously used in federal executions with one drug, pentobarbital. This is similar to the procedure used in several states, including Georgia, Missouri and Texas, but not all.
Numbers of state executions have fallen steadily since the last federal execution, according to data compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center. States put to death 59 people in 2004 and 22 in 2019, nine of which were in Texas.

4 comments:

  1. Another innocent man framed and murdered by the government.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sure would like to know what evidence they had against him. This nation really is de-evolving. We are one of the only country's in the world that still have a death penalty even though many on death roll (and lifers) have been cleared by the innocence project. DNA and other evidence has cleared hundreds of people of the crimes they were accused of. Many trials are held in kangaroo courts. The judge and prosecutors control the way the trials go and it's not easy getting a fair trial in this shithole nation. The outcome of trials usually depends on what evidence the judge allows into the trial. I'd love to see the gov't get sued after putting someone to death and evidence becomes available that shows that victim to be innocent of the crime. No one except for the gov't wanted to kill this guy. Even the victim's family wanted him to spend the rest of his time in prison. So the gov't is not representing the people when they execute this guy. They are only representing their sick desires to kill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that we should know more about the evidence used to convict. I think it remarkable that he would say to his dying hour that he was not guilty. That makes my antennae go up.

      Delete
  3. Great news!
    Looking forward to seeing Obama and Hillary get slow roasted for their TREASON.

    ReplyDelete