Death row inmate Lezmond Mitchell executed in Indiana
Lezmond Mitchell, a Native American, became the fourth person to die on death row from a lethal injection this year, for the killings of a woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter in 2001.
The Supreme Court denied Mitchell’s request to stop his execution, Mitchell’s lawyer also had a clemency request pending before President Trump that went unapproved.
The Navajo Nation opposed the execution of Mitchell, saying it violated the Native American group’s sovereignty.
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But the family of the 9-year old girl, Tiffany Lee, rejected the Navajo Nation’s stance. “An eye for an eye,” Daniel Lee, her father, told the Associated Press.
“He took my daughter away, and no remorse or anything like that. The Navajo Nation president, the council, they don’t speak for me. I speak for myself and for my daughter,” he added.
Authorities described that Tiffany was hit in the head with rocks by Mitchell and co-defendant Johnny Orsinger, because she did not immediately succumb to her throat having been slit.
Tiffany’s grandmother, 63-year-old Navajo woman, Alyce Slim, was stabbed 33 times on a Navajo reservation located in the northeast of Arizona.
Tiffany and Slim were then placed upright in the back seat and driven to an abandoned sheep farm where their bodies were reportedly mutilated and found in a shallow grave.
Mitchell allegedly stole her vehicle for a robbery.
Slim had offered Mitchell and Orsinger a ride as they hitchhiked in the Navajo Nation.
Mitchell, 38, was pronounced dead at 6:29 pm Wednesday. When asked if had any last words for his family, he responded, “No, I’m good.”
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He received a lethal injection of pentobarbital in a death chamber at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. The injection reportedly took 26 minutes before Mitchell was pronounced dead.
Orsinger was a minor at the time of the crime, and therefore does not face death row, but rather life in prison without parole.
Three other federal executions were conducted in July for the first time in 17 years.
Keith Nelson, who was convicted of the abduction, sexual abuse and killing of 10-year Pamela Butler in 1999, is scheduled to be executed on Friday.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr directed the federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule death row executions starting in mid-July.
The Associated Press and Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.