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Government Carries Out 8th Federal Execution

An image of Orlando Hall.

(Courtesy of Attorneys for Orlando Hall)

Orlando Hall was sentenced to death in 1996, for the 1994 kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Lisa Rene.  Hall abducted the teen from her Arlington, Texas apartment, sexually assaulted her and beat her multiple times with a shovel before burying her in a shallow grave.

A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas found Hall guilty of kidnapping resulting in death, aiding and abetting, conspiracy commit kidnapping and several other charges.  Prosecutors say Hall killed Rene to retaliate against Rene's brother, who ripped him off in a drug deal.

A D.C. federal judge issued a stay of Hall's execution, orginally scheduled for 6:00 pm Thursday, after his attorneys argued the government need a prescription to administer the drug used in the lethal injection process, Pentobarbital. However, the Supreme Court vacated the stay by a 6-3 margin, with the liberal wing of the court voting against lifting the stay.

FCI Terre Haute
The federal correctionl institution in Terre Haute, Indiana.

At 11:30, witnesses were lead into the execution chamber on the grounds of the United States Penitentiary, in Terre Haute, IN.  The blinds were raised and Hall was strapped to a gurney, a sheet covered him from his chest to his feet. A Department of Justice official read the charges Hall was convicted of and asked if he had any last words.

"Thank you for giving me this oppuruntity for forgiveness," Hall said after reciting the Muslim profession of faith. "Thank you to everyone that is here, family, friends, my loved ones."

As Hall paused, a U.S. Marshal standing beside him picked up an open line to the justice department to see if there any impediments to the execution.  Hall continued with his statement: "I'm ok, tell my kids I love them."

"There are no impediments," the Marshal said.  At. 11:31, the DOJ official radioed for the executioner to begin the flow of chemicals from a room adjacent to the execution chamber.

At 11:32, Hall turned his head to the right, and closed his eyes.  At 11:33, Hall looked up and appeared to try to say something, he yawned and put his head back down.  Halls lips turned blue, and his hands turned ashen.  

At 11:46, a man with a stethoscope entered the execution chamber and checked Hall's vital signs.  One minute later, the DOJ official in the chamber pronounced him dead.  The shades were drawn.

"Today marks the end of a very long and painful chapter in our lives," said Pearl Rene, Lisa's sister in a statement.  "My family and I are relieved that this is over.  We have been dealing with this for 26 years and now we are having to deal with this trafic nightmare that our beloved Lisa went through."

Hall became the 8th federal inmate to be executed since the Trump Administration resumed executions in July.  Brandon Bernard is scheduled to be executed December 10th for his role in the murder of two youth pastors in Texas in 1999.

Lisa Montgomery was scheduled to be executed on December 8th, but a judge stayed her execution after Montgomery's attorneys fell ill with Covid-19.

 

 

 

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