Man who raped girl before burying her alive executed hours after judge says stop

A man who raped and murdered a girl has been executed hours after a judge ordered it not to go ahead amid claims of racial discrimination.

Orlando Hall was put to death by lethal injection at 11.47pm local time yesterday, November 20, after being convicted for his role in the horrific 1994 abduction and killing of 16-year-old Lesa Rene.

The Supreme Court overturned US District Judge Tanya Chutkan's request for the execution to be halted following claims that Hall, who is African American, was racially discriminated against by an all-white jury.

In a ruling hours before the federal execution was scheduled to go ahead, she wrote: “The court is deeply concerned that the government intends to proceed with a method of execution that this court and the Court of Appeals have found violates federal law."

Hall, 49, was among five men who abducted the sister of two drug dealers he suspected had stolen money from him in Texas, US.

The gang of cannabis traffickers had gone there to confront her brothers but took her at gunpoint to Arkansas where was raped, beaten with a shovel and buried alive.

Hall was put to death at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, becoming the eighth inmate to be executed after they were reinstated over the summer following a pause of 17 years.

A victim impact statement on behalf of Lisa's family was issued following the execution.

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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 US Supreme Court overturned a previous ruling that blocked it over claims administering sodium pentobarbital without a prescription was illegal.

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The court also denied motions to halt the execution by Hall's lawyers.

They had claimed that racial discrimination played a role in securing an all-white jury to decide his fate.

Hall was found guilty by an all-white jury, which lawyers claim was the result of racial discrimination.

Three of the men involved in the horrific crimes had agreed a plea deal to testify against Hall and a fifth man, and have all been released since.

His lawyers also argued they needed more time to prepare a clemency petition due to Covid-19.

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