The first federal execution in nearly two decades was carried out “in the middle of the night,” as the condemned triple murderer was still battling in court to avoid his fate, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Daniel Lewis Lee’s attorney Ruth Friedman said she wasn’t notified before her client was given a lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana — shortly after he claimed, “You’re killing an innocent man.”
“It is shameful that the government saw fit to carry out this execution when counsel for Danny Lee could not be present with him, and when the judges in his case and even the family of his victims urged against it,” Friedman, director of the Federal Capital Habeas Project, said in a statement.
“And it is beyond shameful that the government, in the end, carried out this execution in haste, in the middle of the night, while the country was sleeping. We hope that upon awakening, the country will be as outraged as we are.”
The executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment, also said that the feds appeared to have carried out an “illegal execution.”
Robert Dunham tweeted that Lee “was executed 31 minutes after the 8th Circuit lifted the last stay, which under the law would have triggered the requirement for a new death warrant.”