State puts Lendell Lee to death
On Thursday, April 20, 2017, Arkansas Department of Correction death row inmate Ledell Lee was executed.
At 11:20 p.m. the Supreme Court of the United States lifted an emergency stay of execution.
Lee began receiving the lethal injection at 11:44 p.m. and was pronounced deceased at 11:56 p.m. The execution was scheduled for 7 p.m. then delayed and rescheduled several times thereafter before the stay was finally lifted.
Lee was convicted in 1995 for the murder of Debra Reese, which occurred in 1993. Reese, 26, was found in her home in Jacksonville, she had been beaten and strangled.
Eight inmates were scheduled to be executed during a 10 day sequence beginning on April 17. Four of the eight death row inmates have received stays of execution.
The last inmate executed in Arkansas was Eric Nance, of Malvern, on Nov. 28, 2005, for the death of Julie Heath in 1993. Heath’s vehicle was discovered abandoned on Highway 270, west of Malvern and her body was found a week later in a rural area of Hot Spring County.
Protestors gathered at the Governor’s Mansion in protest of the execution. Protestors held signs saying “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and abolish execution support.
Reports from ADC state that Lee’s death certificate will state the cause of death as homicide. Propionates of the death penalty call the cause of death “an eye for an eye.”
KATV’s Marine Glisovic, witnessed the execution. She gave accounts of what she had witnessed to co-anchors following the execution.
Governor Asa Hutchinson was reportedly somber after the execution, according to governor spokesman J.R. Davis. He stated that the Governor had stated that, “justice had been carried out and the victim’s family now has closure.” Davis also stated that the governor said he had great confidence in the Arkansas Department Correction.
Jeff Rosenzweig and Lee Short, of Little Rock served as legal counsel for Lee.
Thursday’s execution seemed to go smoothly according to media witnesses.