Justice Department appeals after federal judge blocks first execution since 2003

The Justice Department filed an emergency appeal after a federal judge blocked its first scheduled execution over coronavirus concerns.

The move came Friday evening after Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, chief judge in the Southern District of Indiana, filed an injunction that prohibits the chief law enforcement agency from executing Daniel Lewis Lee, who was found guilty of murdering a family of three, including an 8-year-old child.

The family of the victims, Nancy Mueller and Sarah Powell, argued that there was “no legitimate reason” for Lee’s execution to continue as scheduled due to the coronavirus outbreaks in prisons.

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