14:18 GMT15 June 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A US federal judge in the state of Indiana has halted the first federal execution in 17 years that was scheduled to take place next week, court documents revealed.

    "The plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction, dkt. [2], is granted to the extent that the Court enjoins the defendants from carrying out the execution of Daniel Lewis Lee on 13 July 2020, or on any future date, pending final resolution of the merits of this case or until further order of this Court", Chief District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson wrote on Friday.

    Magnus ruled in favour of the victims' relatives after they argued they had a right to be present at Lee's execution and launched a legal suit against the Department of Justice to delay it being carried until the novel coronavirus disease pandemic was over.

    The US Justice Department has filed an emergency appeal in response to Magnus' decision.

    US inmate Daniel Lee was scheduled to die by lethal injection on Monday. Lee was sentenced to death in 1999 for murdering a couple and their eight-year-old daughter. His execution would have been the first federal execution, as opposed to the state, since 2003.

    US Federal Court, Indiana, United States
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