Lee Hall is blind, but he is set to be executed this week for the horrific 1991 murder of his estranged girlfriend in Tennessee.
Hall, now 53, had the use of his eyes when he burned Traci Crozier to death as she sat in her car in Chattanooga.
“She felt every bit of it,” her sister Staci Crozier Wooten told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 2014. “She was awake for 36 hours. That’s what really bothers me. She knew she was going to die.”
Hall has become functionally blind in prison due to improperly treated glaucoma. His lawyers say that he would be just the second blind person to be executed in the U.S. since 1976. Clarence Ray Allen, who was legally blind and was confined to a wheelchair, was executed by lethal injection in 2006 for ordering three killings from 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.
His lawyers added that “the spectacle of his execution” would “offend humanity.”
Hall, formerly known as Leroy Hall Jr., has chosen to die by electric chair. He had a choice that was 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,” Crozier Wooten 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.”
Hall’s lawyers are asking Gov. Bill Lee for a delay in the execution so the courts can consider claims that 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.”
Hall is scheduled to be executed on Thursday.
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