An execution is scheduled to take place in Tennessee Thursday for a blind death row inmate who fatally set his estranged girlfriend afire, reports said Monday.
Lee Hall, who is also known as Leroy Hall Jr., is scheduled to be executed for setting fire to Traci Crozier as she sat in her car in Chattanooga. At the time of the killing, he could see.
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“She felt every bit of it. She was awake for 36 hours. That’s what really bothers me. She knew she was going to die.”
Hall’s lawyers say he would be just the second blind person to be executed in the U.S. since 1976. He became functionally blind in prison because of improperly treated glaucoma, the report said.
Clarence Ray Allen, who was legally blind and was confined to a wheelchair, was executed by lethal injection in 2006 for ordering three killings while serving time in his prison cell.
“If confined to prison for the remainder of his natural life, Mr. Hall bears no practical risk of harm to anyone,” his lawyers wrote in a court filing last year, according to the Nashville Scene.
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His lawyers added “the spectacle of his execution" would “offend humanity.”
Hall has chosen to die by the electric chair. He had a choice allowed for inmates convicted before January of 1999.
“So that when that juice is going in his arm, he won’t even know when it is going to hit,” Staci Crozier Wooten, her sister, told the Times Free Press in 2014. “And he has to suffer while he sits there and wonders. The longer, the better. Traci had to suffer, and now he needs to suffer.”
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Hall’s lawyers are requesting Gov. Bill Lee delay the execution so the courts can consider claims one of the jurors in the case was biased, according to the Nashville Scene.
“Juror A was not a fair and impartial juror,” the lawyers wrote. “Her presence on Lee Hall’s jury is a structural error in the judicial process requiring automatic reversal.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report