Judge Denies ACLU’s Stay Of Execution Request For Death Row Inmate
LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — A Pulaski County Circuit Court judge denied a motion set forth by the ACLU, which asked for new DNA testing for Ledell Lee’s case.
In his ruling, Judge Herbert Wright said that improvements to DNA testing “has been available for some years prior” and questioned the delay in the filing by the ACLU, according to KTHV.
“If the court were to accept the defendant’s argument about both the hair and the blood on the tennis shoe, there would still be sufficient proof presented by the state at trial for the jury to reach a guilty verdict,” Wright claimed in his ruling.
Wright said if a new trial was granted, the eyewitness testimony of three people would still place Lee inside or near Reese’s home at the time of the murder.
—original story below—
The American Civil Liberties Union filed for a stay of execution for a death row inmate on Monday night (April 17), while another death row inmate was waiting to learn whether his execution would be carried out.
The ACLU is requesting a stay of execution for Ledell Lee on two counts. They claim that Lee is innocent, based on the fact that blood and hair recovered at the crime scene was never tested for DNA because previously there was not adequate testing. Therefore the ACLU said it was “scientifically impossible” to connect the crime to Lee.
The ACLU also claimed that Lee has an intellectual disability from fetal alcohol syndrome, which was never brought to the court or jury’s attention during his previous trials. The ACLU said Lee had “horrible legal counsel” since being arrested for the 1993 murder of Debra Reese.