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Cotton Statement on Restoration of Federal Death Penalty

July 25, 2019


Contact: Caroline Tabler or James Arnold (202) 224-2353


Washington, D.C. — After Attorney General William Barr directed the Justice Department earlier today to resume executions in the federal system, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) issued the following statement:

“Most Americans have always recognized that the death penalty is a just response to the most heinous crimes. I commend the president and Attorney General Barr for resuming executions to carry out sentences imposed on five brutal murderers by juries of their peers. After many years of unnecessary delay, justice will soon be done for these criminals’ many victims, including the Mueller family of Tilly, Arkansas.”


Background: In January 1996, Daniel Lewis Lee and co-conspirator Chevie Kehoe murdered Bill Mueller, 53; his wife, Nancy Mueller, 28; and her eight-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell, by binding their hands with duct-tape, duct-taping plastic trash-bags over their heads, weighting them down with rocks, and throwing them into a nearby bayou to drown. Lee and Kehoe had robbed the Muellers’ home the year before, and had returned to rob them again to fund the Aryan People’s Republic, a white-supremacist group to which Lee and Kehoe belonged. Lee even trivialized the murders by boasting he had put the Muellers “on a liquid diet.” He had an extensive and violent criminal history prior to his involvement in the Mueller murders.