The US government on Tuesday morning carried out the first federal execution in nearly two decades — despite objections from family members of the killer’s victims.
Daniel Lewis Lee, who was convicted of killing a family of three, died by lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, in the first federal execution since 2003.
“I didn’t do it,” Lee said just before his execution. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I’m not a murderer. … You’re killing an innocent man.”
The 47-year-old was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 slayings of William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell.
The execution followed several legal attempts by the relatives of the victims to delay the punishment due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling early Tuesday that allowed it to move forward.