A man who raped and murdered a girl has been executed hours after a judge ordered him not to continue amid claims of racial discrimination.
Orlando Hall was put to death by lethal injection yesterday, Nov.20, at 11:47 p.m. local time, after being convicted of his role in the gruesome 1994 kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Lesa Rene.
The Supreme Court overturned U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s request to stop the execution after allegations that Hall, who is African American, was racially discriminated against by an all-white jury.
In a ruling hours before the federal execution was due to take place, she wrote, “The court is deeply concerned that the government intends to proceed with a method of execution that, according to this court and the Court of Appeals, is contrary to federal law.”
Hall, 49, was one of five men who kidnapped the sister of two drug dealers he suspected had stolen money from him in Texas, USA.
The gang of cannabis traffickers had gone there to confront her brothers, but took her at gunpoint to Arkansas where she was raped, beaten with a kick and buried alive.
Hall was put to death in the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, becoming the eighth inmate to be executed after recovering from a 17-year hiatus over the summer.
After the execution, a victim impact statement was issued on behalf of Lisa’s family.
Pearl Rene said, “Today marks the end of a very long and painful chapter in our lives.
“My family and I are very relieved that this is over.”
Hall’s execution came after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an earlier ruling that blocked it over claims that administering sodium pentobarbital without a prescription was illegal.
The court also denied motions to stop the execution by Hall’s lawyers.
They had argued that racial discrimination played a role in ensuring an all-white jury to decide his fate.
Hall was found guilty by an all-white jury, which attorneys say was the result of racial discrimination.
Three of the men involved in the heinous crimes had entered into plea deals to testify against Hall and a fifth man, and all have since been released.
His lawyers also argued that because of Covid-19, they needed more time to prepare a petition for clemency.