Judge orders delay of first federal execution in 17 years

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — UPDATE: A U.S. 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.

U.S. 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 3 pm CT on Monday at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell.

Associated Press writers Colleen Long in Washington and Andrew DeMillo in Little Rock, Ark. contributed to this report.

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