The country’s lone Native American on federal death row — convicted of killing a woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter — was executed in Indiana as the girl’s father watched him take his final breaths.
Lezmond Mitchell, a 38-year-old Navajo man convicted in the 2001 slayings of 63-year-old Alyce Slim and 9-year-old Tiffany Lee during a carjacking in Arizona, was pronounced dead at 6:29 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a lethal injection at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
“No, I’m good,” Mitchell said when asked if he had any last words, according to an Indianapolis Star reporter who witnessed the execution, which took place despite the “steadfast objection” of the Navajo Nation and pleas for clemency from Navajo leaders, Mitchell’s attorneys said.
Lee’s father, Daniel Lee, was among the witnesses who saw the execution and prepared a statement that was read by an attorney, thanking the Navajo Nation Police Department as well as US Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump for their help in the case.
“I have waited 19 years to get justice for my daughter, Tiffany,” an attorney for Lee said on his behalf. “I will never get Tiffany back, but I hope that this will bring some closure.”
Lee’s statement continued: “If it had not been for the Trump administration, I do not think I would have ever received justice or a sense of finality.”
Mitchell’s attorneys, meanwhile, said the execution marked “another chapter” in a long history of injustices against Native Americans, claiming it represented a “gross insult” to the sovereignty of the Navajo Nation, whose leaders called on Trump to commute Mitchell’s sentence to life with the possibility of release.
“The very fact that he faced execution despite the tribe’s opposition to a death sentence for him reflected the government’s disdain for tribal sovereignty,” Mitchell’s attorneys, Jonathan Aminoff and Celeste Bacchi, said in a statement.
Source: Read Full Article