NewsPublic Affairs / September 21, 2020

Lawyer For Death Row Inmate Requesting Stay Over COVID-19 Concerns

The United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute. - Adam Pinsker/WFIU-WTIU

The United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute.

Adam Pinsker/WFIU-WTIU

A lawyer representing a man scheduled to be executed at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute Tuesday is asking an appeals court to delay the execution.

William LeCroy was sentenced to death in 2004 for the 2001 murder of Joann Tiesler. He was convicted of raping and murdering Tiesler, then stealing her car and fleeing the state of Georgia.

LeCroy’s attorney, Jack Martin, says he was diagnosed with a form of leukemia a couple years ago and because of the pandemic does not feel safe traveling to Indiana to witness his client’s execution.

He is asking a court to delay the execution until next year or whenever there is a vaccine for COVID-19.

“He has the right to have his lawyer there under statutes. A District Court here was sympathetic to that claim, that dilemma, but didn’t think he had the power to order it so that’s what we are appealing,” Martin said.

Martin says not only is it the law, but it is important for every condemned inmate to have their attorney present at their execution.

“One execution I went to, I asked my client to look for me, and he did, and I just felt good about it,” Martin said.

The Bureau of Prisons has already conducted five executions at the prison complex since July.

Last week the two inmates at the complex where the execution was supposed to take place died from the virus, and 40 others tested positive.

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