ACLU files for stay of Ledell Lee's execution, citing innocence, intellectual disability

Court battles continue over scheduled executions throughout Monday

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a stay of Ledell Lee's upcoming execution.

The ACLU filed the stay citing two reasons why his executions should be halted. The first reason they say is because blood and hair recovered at the scene of the crime was never tested for DNA.

"The testing available then wasn't sophisticated enough for fragmented samples," said ACLU in a statement, "and no other DNA evidence was found to tie him to the crime."

In the summary for the post-conviction DNA testing, the ACLU said that analysis of hair fragments from the crime scene were "scientifically impossible" to connect to Lee. The ACLU also said that side-by-side comparison of hair is no longer scientifically sound. The only way hair can be confirmed is by using "[mitochondrial] DNA analysis."

The second claim is due to Lee's intellectual disability. The ACLU said Lee had "horrible legal counsel" since being arrested for the 1993 murder of Debra Reese. They say that Lee's intellectual disability stems from fetal alcohol syndrome and it was "never noticed let alone brought to the court or the jury's attention."

Lee has continually maintained he was innocent in the murder of Debra Reese. The motion for post-conviction DNA testing was filed in the Pulaski County Circuit Court.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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