August 26, 2020

Extinguishing Lezmond Mitchell’s Life Was A Horrible Choice


Washington, D.C. – American Constitution Society President Russ Feingold condemned today’s execution of Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American on death row and the fourth man the government has rushed to death this summer.

“As part of its broader campaign to rev up the federal government’s machinery of death, the Trump Administration today executed Lezmond Mitchell, a member of the Navajo Nation, in a clear breach of the government’s promises to respect tribal sovereignty.

As I noted earlier this week, after a nearly 20-year moratorium, the federal government is in the midst of an historically unprecedented and seemingly arbitrary rush to put people to death, with four executions in the past two months, and three more scheduled in as many days and weeks. If the remaining executions move forward, the Trump Administration will have tripled the number of federal executions in modern history.

Mr. Mitchell was executed despite the recommendation of the local U.S. Attorney and the objections of the Navajo Nation and the victims’ families.

The federal government betrayed a promise when it sought the death penalty against Lezmond Mitchell by exploiting a legal loophole. It had an opportunity today to do the right thing. Instead, it made the horrible choice to extinguish his life.”


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