By Michael Balsamo | The Associated Press |
The U.S. government on Tuesday carried out the first federal execution in almost two decades, putting to death a man who killed an Arkansas family in a 1990s in a plot to build a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest. The execution came over the objection of the victims’ family.
Daniel Lewis Lee, 47, of Yukon, Oklahoma, died by lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
“I didn’t do it,” Lee said just before he was executed. “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 — the first by the Bureau of Prisons since 2003 — 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.