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US set to carry out first federal execution of prisoner in 17 years

The first execution in the United States of a federal prisoner in more than 17 years was due to take place later on Monday, the culmination of an effort by the Trump administration to revive the US government’s use of a punishment long mired in legal challenges.

Unless a federal court orders a delay, the US Department of Justice plans to execute Daniel Lewis Lee using lethal injection, for his role in the murders of three members of an Arkansas family, including an eight-year-old child, in 1996.

Daniel Lewis Lee may be the first federal prisoner executed in the US in 17 years.

Daniel Lewis Lee may be the first federal prisoner executed in the US in 17 years.Credit:AP

The execution of Lee is due to take place at the Justice Department’s execution chamber at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. Some relatives of Lee’s victims opposed him receiving the death sentence while his accomplice in the murders, Chevie Kehoe, was sentenced to life in prison.

Efforts to resume capital punishment at the federal level were under way within a few months of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, ending a de facto moratorium that began under his predecessor, Barack Obama, while long-running legal challenges to lethal injections played out in federal courts.

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