TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) — News 10's Jordan Kudisch reports Orlando Hall has been executed at the federal prison in Terre Haute.
His official time of death was 11:47 pm.
Hall was the eighth person put death by the federal government this year.
Kudisch served as a media witness for the execution.
Statement from the victim's family
"Today marks the end of a very long and painful chapter in our lives. My family and I are very relieved this is over. We have been dealing with this for 26 years and now we're having to relive the tragic nightmare that our beloved Lisa went through. Ending this process will be a major goal for our family. This is only the end of the legal aftermath. The execution of Orlando Hall will never stop the suffering we continue to endure. Please pray for our family as well as his.
The Appeals Process
According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the path to allow the federal government to continue with Hall's execution.
Hall was originally set to be executed at 6:00.
Late court appeals argue that bias played a role in his death sentence. Hall is Black, and his sentence was recommended by an all-white jury. His lawyers also contend that restrictions and concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic have limited their ability to help him.
Description of the crime from the Department of Justice
"Attorney General William P. Barr today directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the execution of Orlando Cordia Hall, who was sentenced to death after kidnapping, raping, and murdering a 16-year-old girl in 1994.
In September 1994, Hall and several accomplices ran a marijuana trafficking operation out of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. After a failed drug transaction involving $4,700, Hall and his accomplices went to the Arlington, Texas, home of a man they believed had reneged on the deal. The man’s 16-year-old sister, Lisa Rene, answered the door. Although she was simply an innocent bystander, Hall and his accomplices kidnapped her at gunpoint, and Hall raped her in the car. Hall’s accomplices subsequently drove her to a motel in Arkansas, where they raped her several more times. Hall and his accomplices then took her to a park where they had dug a grave. There, they beat her over the head with a shovel, soaked her with gasoline, and buried her alive.
In October 1995, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas found Hall guilty of, among other offenses, kidnapping resulting in death, and unanimously recommended a death sentence, which the court imposed. Hall’s convictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal more than 20 years ago, and his initial round of collateral challenges failed nearly 15 years ago. In 2006, Hall received a preliminary injunction from a federal district court in Washington, D.C., based on his challenge to the then-existing federal lethal-injection protocol. That injunction was vacated by the district court on Sept. 20, 2020, making Hall the only child murderer on federal death row who is eligible for execution and not subject to a stay or injunction. Hall’s execution is scheduled for Nov. 19, 2020, at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana."
Protesters gathered across from the federal prison lobbying against the death penalty.
They've been in Terre Haute for each of the previous seven executions.
News 10 spoke with Justice Promoter for the Sisters of Providence, Sister Barbara Battista. She's been at all of the protests since July and says their message is gaining traction.
Before the executions this year, the most recent was in 2003. Sister Battista is a vocal leader n the fight to abolish the death penalty. She shared her thoughts on the executions resuming at a quick pace.
"First, sadness...that yet again another man's life is going to be taken. Taking his life in my opinion is just going to add more violence to all of our lives. Anger really at the gall of this current administration to continue to execute persons in our name for no apparent reason, except to get as many in as possible," Battista said.
She said their message is being heard. They have several petitions to congress going through the system right now.