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Federal Judge Issues Order Staying Execution Of Lisa Rene’s Killer Orlando Hall

WASHINGTON — A federal judge today halted the U.S. Justice Department’s plan to execute Orlando Hall, an African American, by lethal injection in the evening, after an appeals court this week found the government’s death penalty protocol violates federal law.

“The court is deeply concerned that the government intends to proceed with a method of execution that this court and the Court of Appeals have found violates federal law,” U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote in her opinion.

Chutkan’s ruling came after a federal appeals court issued a divided opinion on Wednesday which found that the Justice Department had violated the law by executing people using the drug pentobarbital without a prescription.

The appeals court declined, however, to stay Hall’s execution at that time.

The federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on the lower court’s ruling.

Hall, 49, is the subject of three separate legal battles to delay his execution, in what would be the eighth one carried out this year under the Trump administration after a 17-year hiatus.

Chutkan’s ruling is expected to be appealed by the government.

If he is executed, Hall would become the second African American to die by lethal injection in recent months.

He was convicted by an all-white jury for his role in the 1994 kidnapping, rape and murder of the 16-year-old sister of two Texas drug dealers whom he suspected had stolen money from him.

Lisa Rene of St. Croix had moved to Arlington, Texas from the U.S. Virgin Islands about two months previous to being kidnapped, raped and buried alive by Hall and four other men.

Hall was set to be executed at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute Indiana at 6:00 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST) which is one hour behind Atlantic Standard Time (AST).

—REUTERS

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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