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Attorneys Win Stay For Federal Death Row Inmate

Generic barbed wire outside a prison.

The death chamber at San Qu (Steve Burns, WTIU/WFIU News)

An inmate scheduled to be executed at the federal prison in Terre Haute on December 9th, has been granted a stay by an Indiana judge.

The judge ruled Daniel Lewis Lee may have received ineffective counsel during the penalty phase of his trial.

Lee was convicted of murdering an Arkansas couple and their 8 year old daughter in 1999.  The mother of one of those victims has asked President Trump to halt the execution, saying Lee’s execution will not bring any relief to her family.

“The judge found a significant possibility that the Government was aware of, and failed to disclose, evidence undermining a key basis for his death sentence, a sentence which the victims’ family, the trial judge and the lead trial prosecutor vehemently oppose,” Lee’s attorney Morris Moon said in a statement.

In a separate appeal last month, a judge issued an injunction against the executions of Lee and three other death row inmates over a challenge against the lethal injection method used at the federal penitentiary.

Even if a judge refused to grant Lee’s stay, his execution would not have taken place unless the injunction was lifted.

In July, Attorney General William Barr authorized the executions of five men at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute:  Lee, Lezmond Mitchell, Wesley Ira Purkey, Alfred Bourgeois, and Dustin Lee Honken.

Attorneys for Purkey asked a judge to dismiss his execution last week.

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