The Department can carry on the first federal execution in 17 years on Monday as scheduled after the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned the injunction of a US federal judge in the state of Indiana.
"The plaintiffs' claim is frivolous ... they have no statutory or regulatory right to attend the execution", the Sunday order of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Curcuit, released by Axios media, says, adding that "executions are not public proceedings" and that the Federal Death Penalty Act "makes no mention of witnesses, whether members of the victims' family or others".
On 11 July, Chief District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson for the Southern District of Indiana blocked the execution of US inmate Daniel Lee granting the motion of the victims' relatives.
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 until the coronavirus pandemic was over. The US Justice Department then filed an emergency appeal in response to Magnus' decision.
US inmate Daniel Lee was sentenced to death in 1999 for the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell, in the state of Arkansas. His execution would be the first execution carried out by the federal government, as opposed to the state of Indiana, since 2003.