Ruth Friedman, the attorney for Daniel Lewis Lee, expressed outrage following the execution of her client Tuesday morning, which marked the first time the federal government has imposed capital punishment since 2003.
In a statement, Friedman provided a harrowing account of the hours leading up to Lee's execution as the Justice Department sought approval from the Supreme Court, which eventually dismissed an injunction from a federal judge who was concerned Lee and two other inmates weren't given enough time to argue their cases that the government's lethal injection violated their constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment. Before the final stay was lifted, Friedman said Lee "remained strapped to a gurney" for four hours. Within 31 minutes, the execution was carried out.
Friedman was not present at the execution and says she was never notified it was happening, meaning Lee had no counsel at his side while "multiple motions" on his case were still pending.