Lezmand Mitchell And Federal Executions


Onika Wallace, Contributor

For the first time in 15 years, the federal government has decided to start using executions as a legal punishment again. The kinds of people going onto this death list are the people who have raped children and murdered people in horrific ways that are detrimental to the families of those subject to be a victim. Those sentenced of course have options of how they would want to be executed, such as the electrical chair (as pictured above), being hung, lethal injections, etc. The thought alone, is terrifying; a man cannot even begin to imagine how the people being executed feel. However, the people on the list of being executed have been very carefully chosen. Some may say federal executions are a good way to help run this country, but others may say they are awful and need to be banned again.

The one man that needs to be specifically be talked about is Lezmand Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell comes from Navajo Nation and is on the top five list of people to be executed. He was put in prison in 2003 for murdering a 63 year old woman, Alyce Slim, and her nine year old granddaughter, Tiffany Lee. Tiffany and her grandmother were traveling to different places throughout the world to find someone who practices the right medicine due to Alyce’s leg ailments. Mr. Mitchell and another man, Johnny Orsinger, jumped in to Alyce’s truck at some point in Twin Lakes, New Mexico. When she stopped to let them out, the two men stabbed her 33 times, killing Mrs. Slim. They then, stole her truck and made the nine year old, Tiffany, sit next to her until they stopped at the mountains, where they forced her to get out of the truck. It is said that they slit her throat on the drive, but because she didn’t die, they forced her to get out of the truck where they then beat her to death.

Donald Trump is the one who officially started the federal executions again. Some people may say the start of federal executions is just what this country needs, while others may say this is a terrible idea and we can easily find a better solution to the “bad” people of the world. Opinions will vary about this topic in so many different ways. Mr. Mitchell’s attorneys have spoken about this situation. They don’t think his execution has been rightfully set because his attorney wasn’t even allowed in the courtroom on one of his court dates in 2009. They never got to see the original jury, so they don’t know if they were persuaded for some sort of reason. They do however, believe that their was only one Native American on the original jury who was biased because of Mr. Mitchell’s race. They believe that the court ruling wasn’t fair on that day because they couldn’t even see the jury, so they are fighting on the execution at this point in time. They might win,they might lose, but as of right now, they are not too sure as to which will be the case. As for the time being, his execution date is set for December 11, 2019 and will not change unless there is a good case presented to revoke it.