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Navajo Nation Asks Trump To Commute Death Sentence Of Native Man Facing Execution

Added 08-11-20 03:07:01pm EST - “The U.S. government plans to execute Lezmond Mitchell, who killed two people on a Navajo reservation. Tribal leaders, citing Navajo beliefs that life is sacred, don't want him to be executed.” - Npr.org

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Npr.org: “Navajo Nation Asks Trump To Commute Death Sentence Of Native Man Facing Execution”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

As the U.S. government prepares to execute Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American man on federal death row, the leaders of the Navajo Nation have asked President Trump to reduce Mitchell's sentence to life imprisonment.

"We strongly hold to our cultural, traditional, and religious beliefs that life is sacred," Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer wrote in a recent letter.

Mitchell is scheduled to be executed on Aug. 26. The federal government recently resumed executions after a 17-year hiatus. (Capital punishment is used more frequently by the states than by the federal government.)

But putting Mitchell to death would violate Navajo beliefs, Nez and Lizer say. And they add that his execution would challenge tribal sovereignty.

Mitchell and a co-defendant, both of whom are Navajo, killed a Navajo woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter on a Navajo reservation in 2001. Federal prosecutors typically can't seek the death penalty for a major crime committed on a reservation without the tribe's approval, and most tribes reject capital punishment.

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