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US carries out first federal execution in 17 years after Supreme Court clears the way

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Daniel Lewis Lee

The federal government carried out its first execution in 17 years early Tuesday when Daniel Lewis Lee, convicted in the 1996 slaying of an Arkansas family, was put to death by lethal injection at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Lee, a once-avowed white supremacist, was pronounced dead at 8:07 a.m., following a protracted legal fight that delayed his execution by more than 16 hours.

"You're killing an innocent man," Lee said before he died.

Lee's execution had been scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday, but a series of legal challenges delayed the sentence.  A 5-4 Supreme Court decision in the early hours of the morning Tuesday ultimately cleared the way for Lee's lethal injection and the scheduled executions of three other inmates. Two are scheduled to proceed this week and another in August.


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