On Tuesday morning, the U.S. government carried out its first federal execution in almost two decades, putting to death a man who killed an Arkansas family back in 1996 in a plot to build a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest.
Daniel Lewis Lee, age 47 of Yukon, Oklahoma, died by lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Before his sentence was carried out Lee stated, "I didn’t do it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I’m not a murderer. ... You’re killing an innocent man.”
The decision to move forward with the execution 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.
This was the first federal execution since 2003.