Judge temporarily stops 1st federal execution in 16 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge in the District of Columbia has temporarily halted the first federal execution in 16 years as a lawsuit on how the government intends to carry it out continues.

U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutka said late Wednesday the public is not served by “short-circuiting” legitimate judicial process. She says it’s better that every effort is made to ensure the most serious type of punishment is imposed lawfully.

Death row inmates challenged the procedures the government intends to use to carry out executions.

Danny Lee, of Yukon, Oklahoma, was the first person scheduled to be executed, on Dec. 9.

Lee was convicted in the 1996 deaths of an Arkansas family as part of a plot to set up a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest.


This story has been corrected to show the ruling was late Wednesday, not Thursday.

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