Execution Stayed

Current Status of the Federal Death Penalty:

On December 2, 2019, the U.S. Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to allow the resumption of the death penalty at the federal level. The request came hours after an appeals court upheld an injunction which temporarily halts the federal executions pending for December 2019 and January 2020.


The situation concerning the planned restart of federal executions is incredibly volatile and requires your continued vigilance. You can raise your voice in opposition to the resumption of federal executions and call on our government leaders to uphold a consistent ethic of life. 

Case Specific Information for Daniel Lewis Lee:

UPDATE: On Thursday, December 5, 2019, Daniel Lewis Lee was granted a stay of execution. From Mr. Lee's attorney, "Today, a federal court in Indiana granted Mr. Lee a stay of executions to allow him a reasonable opportunity to determine the legality of his sentence. The judge found a significant possibility that the Government was aware of, and failed to disclose, evidence undermining a key basis for his death sentence." 

Access the full order granting a stay of execution here.

The federal government issued a death warrant to execute Daniel Lewis Lee by lethal injection on Monday, December 9, 2019 for the 1999 murders of Bill Mueller, 53; Nancy Mueller, 28; and Sarah Powell, 8. This will be the first federal execution in 16 years.

The trial judge, the lead prosecutor, and the victims’ family all oppose executing Mr. Lee and believe a life sentence is appropriate. Mr. Lee’s indisputably more-culpable co-defendant received a life sentence, in part because his lawyer, unlike Mr. Lee’s, presented extensive evidence about his background. 

In Daniel Lewis Lee’s trial, the government relied on junk science and false evidence to secure both Mr. Lee’s conviction and his death sentence. Two federal judges found on two different grounds that Danny Lee’s death sentence violates the Constitution and should be invalidated. Procedural obstacles prevented both judges from granting relief. Mr. Lee is still trying to get a court to give substantive consideration to the problems in his case.

The Catholic Church teaches that the death penalty is unacceptable in all cases because it is "an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person" and calls us to “work for its abolition worldwide.” (Catholic Catechism 2267)