Daniel Lewis Lee and an accomplice were convicted of killing three members of a family in 1996.
Lee’s execution had been blocked after his victims’ relatives sought to have it delayed, fearing that attending could expose them to coronavirus.
However, the execution date has been thrown into serious doubt after a last minute federal court appeal. A district judge ordered a new delay in federal executions, meaning Lee’s may not go ahead. However the Trump administration immediately appealed to a higher court, asking that the executions move forward.
The first federal execution in the United States for more than 17 years is set to go ahead in Indiana on Monday following a ruling by an appeal court.
Daniel Lewis Lee and an accomplice were convicted of killing three members of the same family in 1996.
Some of the victims’ relatives oppose his execution and sought to have it delayed, saying attending it could expose them to coronavirus.
But the ruling means the execution by lethal injection will now proceed.
The appeal court overturned a decision by a lower court that put the execution of 47-year-old Lee on hold, saying no federal statute or regulation gave the victims the right to attend the execution.
The death penalty was outlawed at state and federal level by a 1972 Supreme Court decision that cancelled all existing death penalty statutes.
A 1976 Supreme Court decision allowed states to reinstate the death penalty and in 1988 the government passed legislation that made it available again at a federal level.
According to data collected by the Death Penalty Information Center, 78 people were sentenced to death in federal cases between 1988 and 2018 but only three have since been executed. There are 62 inmates currently on federal death row.
In 2014, following a botched state execution in Oklahoma, President Obama directed the Justice Department to conduct a broad review of capital punishment and issues surrounding lethal injection drugs.
On February 20, 1998, Kehoe pleaded guilty to felonious assault, attempted murder, and carrying a concealed weapon related to a February 15, 1997, shootout in Wilmington, Ohio, with an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper during a traffic stop.
In 1999, Kehoe was convicted in federal court of the January 1996 murders of the Mueller family.
He received three sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole.