LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Lawyers for a federal inmate who is set to be killed for the first time in 17 years have asked a judge to postpone his execution due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawyers of Daniel Lee, the first of four inmates to be executed this month, asked a federal judge on Thursday to delay his execution until spring 2021, a nation in the Pacific Northwest, to be executed on July 13.
In her file, Lee's lawyers said the pandemic was preventing her from taking responsibility for her client without taking the risk of contracting the virus as cases increased across the country.
"The government's insistence on driving its execution amid this public health crisis is forcing lawyers and others to take serious, potentially fatal health risks to be present during or in the days leading up to the execution." the filing said.
A Zen Buddhist priest, who is a spiritual adviser to another inmate who is due to be executed two days after Lee, has argued in a separate lawsuit that the government is endangering him for the virus by driving executions during the pandemic.