Judge Blocks Federal Executions; Administration Will Appeal

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) -
Guard towers and razor wire ring the compound at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind., the site of the last federal execution. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

A district judge on Monday ordered a new delay in federal executions, hours before the first lethal injection was scheduled to be carried out at a federal prison in Indiana. The administration is certain to ask a higher court to allow the executions to move forward.

District Judge Tanya Chutkan said there are still legal issues to resolve and that “the public is not served by short-circuiting legitimate judicial process.” The executions, pushed by the Trump administration, would be the first carried out at the federal level since 2003.

The new hold on executions came a day after a federal appeals court lifted a hold on the execution of Daniel Lewis Lee, of Yukon, Oklahoma, which is scheduled for 4 p.m. EDT on Monday at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings.