The second blind person to be executed in recent times, Lee Hall, met his ultimate fate by electric chair in Tennessee Thursday night.
Capital Punishment for Murder
After almost 30 years in prison, 53-year-old Lee Hall was not granted any additional stays by either Tennessee or the U.S. Supreme Court, resulting in his death by electric chair.
“The justice system has extensively reviewed Lee Hall’s case over the course of almost 30 years, including additional review and rulings by the Tennessee Supreme Court yesterday and today. The judgment and sentence stand based on these rulings, and I will not intervene in the case,” Republican Gov. Bill Lee stated Wednesday.
Despite not being born without sight, Hall lost it after improper treatment for glaucoma, according to his lawyers, making him the second blind prisoner to be executed since the start of the 21st century.
The crime Hall had committed to earn the death sentence was murder – killing 22-year-old estranged girlfriend Traci Crozier by lighting her car on fire while she was inside.
“Lee Hall is blind and vulnerable. If confined to prison for the remainder of natural life, Mr. Hall bears no practical risk of harm to anyone. The spectacle – guiding him to the gurney – would ‘offend humanity,’” Hall’s lawyers wrote in 2018, but when it comes to executions, there are no exemptions for physical disabilities or an age limit.
“Death row is not – and is not intended to be – a nurturing environment, and it is unfortunately an environment that is extremely, physically and mentally debilitating,” executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, Robert Dunham, said.
The 13th to be executed in Tennessee since 1916, and the sixth since 2018, when executions were renewed as a form of punishment, the state is also one of six, in which the electric chair can be chosen by inmates.