On August 26th, the US Federal Government executed the only Native man on federal death row, Lezmond Mitchell, despite Navajo Sovereignty. On August 28th, federal death row prisoner Keith Nelson, was executed despite known childhood abuse and mental illness. Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (MADP) held execution watches and vigils for each of them, and for all victims of the death penalty in Springfield, MO, and Kansas City, MO.
Attorney for Lezmond Mitchell, Jonathan Aminoff provided a statement after the execution calling for a, “ greater respect for the sovereignty of Indian nations and for the traditions of their people.” Click here to read the full statement. President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer of the Navajo Nation emphasized tribal sovereignty, “We have a court system that is fair and just for all persons. We have laws that protect our People…Crimes committed on the Navajo Nation are for us to decide. Our judicial and public safety system considers restorative justice in court cases as based on our custom and traditions of hozho’ and k’e.”
On Friday, August 28th, Keith Nelson was executed in Terre Haute, Indiana at 4:42 Eastern, becoming the fifth person from federal death row executed in what can only be described as an execution killing spree in the name of political gain by the President during this year’s election cycle.
There are two more scheduled federal executions set to take place in Terre Haute, Indiana: September 22: William LeCroy, September 24: Christopher Vialva.
MADP has planned federal death row execution watches and vigils for each of them. More information about September’s execution watches and vigils will be posted soon.
Abolitionists in Kansas City, and Springfield, Missouri holding watch and vigil August 26 and 28th 2020 for federal death row prisoners Lezmond Mitchell and Keith Nelson.