U.S. Carries Out First Federal Execution In 17 Years

On Tuesday (July 14) morning, Daniel Lewis Lee became the first person the federal government has executed since 2003. Lee, who was a white supremacist, was convicted of torturing and killing a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl. Lee maintained his innocence as he was given a lethal injection.

His last words were, "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."

He was pronounced dead at 8:07 a.m.

Lee was scheduled to be executed on Monday (July 13), but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit put it on hold, forcing the Justice Department to appeal to the Supreme Court. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled the federal government could proceed with Lee's execution.

There are three more federal executions scheduled in the coming weeks. Wesley Ira Purkey will be executed on Wednesday, while Dustin Lee Honken will receive a lethal injection on Friday. Keith Dwayne Nelson's execution is scheduled in August.

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