Lee killed a family of three before dumping their bodies in a lake

The first federal execution in the United States in more than 17 years is slated to take place in Indiana on Monday following a decision by an appellate court.

The execution of convicted murderer Daniel Lewis Lee was blocked by a federal judge on Friday.

This came after relatives of the victims asked for a delay, saying they feared that their presence in person would expose them to the coronavirus.

However, the government appealed and the injunction was quashed.

The United States’ 7th Circuit Court of Appeal has stated that there is no federal law or regulation that grants victims the right to witness the execution.

Relatives will appeal to the Supreme Court.

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Lee, a former white supremacist who tortured and killed a family of three before dumping their bodies in a lake, was originally scheduled to be executed in December. His case was delayed after the courts blocked the execution of the death penalty.

Earlene Peterson, whose daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law were killed by Lee, opposed the execution.

“It would embarrass my daughter,” she told CNN last year, “that someone must die for her.”

Lee’s scheduled execution is one of four scheduled for July and August. The four men are sentenced for killing children.

Federal and state executions – what’s the difference?

In the American justice system, crimes can be tried either by federal courts – at the national level – or by state courts, at the regional level.

Certain crimes, such as counterfeiting or theft of mail, are automatically tried at the federal level, as are cases in which the United States is a party or those involving constitutional violations. Others are tried in federal courts based on the gravity of the crimes.

The death penalty was banned at the state and federal levels by a 1972 Supreme Court decision which overturned all existing death penalty laws.

A 1976 Supreme Court decision reinstated the death penalty in a number of states, and in 1988 the government passed legislation that made the death penalty available again at the federal level.

According to data collected by the Death Penalty Information Center, 78 people were sentenced to death in federal cases between 1988 and 2018, but only three have been executed since. There are currently 62 inmates on federal death row.