Daniel Lee, Federal


Updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The execution of Daniel Lee has been executed by the federal government, after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the stay of execution. Read more here.

Updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The execution of Daniel Lee was prevented from starting as scheduled due to a stay of execution granted to Daniel by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in the hours leading up to his execution.  The stay was granted over concerns that the execution drug would cause pain and suffering during the execution, violating Daniel's 8th Amendment rights.  The federal government appealed the stay of execution.  Approximately eight hours after the execution was scheduled to begin, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit announced that they would not overturn the stay of execution.  Daniel also still has appeals before the Supreme Court of the United States.


The stay of execution granted by Judge Chutkan also applies to three other inmates whose executions are scheduled for this year.  Although the DC Circuit Court upheld the stay of execution, they did order that a date for oral arguments be expedited.


Updated: Monday, July 13, 2020

Hours before the scheduled execution of Daniel Lee, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan granted a stay of execution.  In granting the stay of execution, Judge Chutkan noted that there are still legal issues that need resolved. The government plans to appeal the stay of execution.

Updated: Monday, July 13, 2020

Daniel “Danny” Lewis Lee is scheduled to be executed at 4 pm local time on Monday, July 13, 2020, at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. Forty-seven-year-old Daniel has been sentenced to death for the triple murder of William Mueller, his wife Nancy, and her eight-year-old daughter Sarah Powell, in January 1996, in Russellville, Arkansas.  Daniel has spent the last 21 years on federal death row.

Daniel was born in Yukon, Oklahoma. Daniel grew up in a dysfunctional family and suffered from mental impairment.

Daniel Lee was an active member of a white supremacist organization. He had been recruited into the group by Chevie Kehoe, whom he met in 1995. Together, Lee, Chevie, Chevie’s father Kirby Kehoe, Chevie’s brother Cheyne Kehoe, and Faron Lovelace participated in a variety of criminal activities to promote and fund the white supremacist group.

In January 1996, Lee and Chevie traveled from Washington state to Arkansas, where they went to the home of William Mueller, a gun dealer, whom Chevie had stolen from nearly a year ago. William and his family was not home when Lee and Chevie arrived, so they waited for them.


Upon their arrival, Lee and Chevie overpowered and incapacitated William and his wife, Nancy. Lee and Chevie then questioned eight-year-old Sarah about where guns, ammunition, and cash were located in the house. Lee and Chevie found approximately $50,000 in cash, guns, and ammunition.


William, Nancy, and Sarah were all shot with stun guns before plastic bags were placed over their heads and sealed with duct tape. The three victims were weighted with rocks and thrown into the Illinois bayou. They were discovered in Lake Darnelle, near Russellville, Arkansas in June 1996.


Lee and Chevie returned with the stolen goods and proceeded to sell them at gun shows. Eventually, Lee and Chevie were arrested in 1997, after law enforcement was able to trace the William’s guns back to them.


Lee and Chevie, along with several others, were indicted on December 12, 1997. Lee was charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, and murder in aid of racketeering. He was convicted and sentenced to death. Although a death sentence was also sought for Chevie, he was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.


Daniel Lee had a previous execution date of Friday, December 13, 2019. That execution was stayed by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, who issued the stay due to questions of legality over the planned method of execution. The stay was appealed and the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit lifted the stay of execution, allowing the execution to be rescheduled. 


The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear an appeal from the federal death row inmates who are scheduled to be executed in the upcoming months.  The appeal was challenging the federal death penalty protocols.  When the federal government first started scheduling federal executions in 2019, a new execution protocol was established: a single drug lethal injection for all federal executions.  The appeal argued that the new protocol did not abide by the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994, which establishes that the federal government must comply with the execution protocol of the state in which they were tried.  The federal government argued that they were following the act by using lethal injection.  Lawyers for the inmates argued that because the drug was different and not being considered on a state-by-state basis, the government was not following the protocol.  This appeal had previously halted four federal executions scheduled in late 2019, and early 2020.   This decision by the Supreme Court of the United States means that this issue will not prevent the federal government from carrying out executions.


Daniel's lawyers have also filed an appeal asking that his execution be halted due to the coronavirus. 


The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has lifted the stay of execution previously granted U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.  Judge Magnus-Stinson halted the execution of Daniel Lee, after members of the victims' family sued, claiming they could not attend the execution because to do so would risk exposing them to COVID-19.  In lifting the stay of execution, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals noted that the family of the victim(s) do not have a legal right to be able to attend the execution, although they may be permitted to attend by the warden of the prison.  


Please pray for peace for the family of William, Nancy, and Sarah. Please pray for strength for the family of Daniel Lee. Please pray that if Daniel is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, evidence will be provided prior to the execution. Please pray that Daniel may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.



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