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U.S. executes eighth death row inmate this year late Thursday

United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute, Indiana. (U.S. Bureau of Prisons photo/Released)
November 21, 2020

Orlando Cordia Hall on Thursday became the eighth federal inmate to die this year by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute.

Hall, 49, died at 11:47 p.m., about 17 minutes after the U.S. Marshall in the room gave the order to proceed with the execution at 11:30 p.m.

“I invite everyone to Islam,” Hall said. “Thank you for giving me this opportunity for forgiveness. Thank everyone who’s here — my family and my loved ones. I love you.”

As a Bureau of Prisons official read the death sentence imposed in Hall’s conviction in the kidnapping and killing of a Texas teenager, Hall continued to look toward the viewing room where his family could see him lying strapped to the execution table.

Hall raised his head a few times and looked around, his eyes tearful, his lips moving as if he continued to pray.

Twice he made wide yawns, and did not close his mouth as his eyes fluttered and closed. By 11:35 p.m., movement of his feet, chest and mouth were no longer apparent.

Hall’s execution had originally been scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, but late court filings in attempts to delay the execution only delayed his death by lethal injection for a few hours.

The victim was represented by family members who witnessed the execution. A written statement was issued following Hall’s death.

“Today marks the end of a very long and painful chapter in our lives,” said the statement from Pearl Rene, the victim’s sister. “My family and I are very relieved that this is over. We have been dealing with this for 26 years and now we’re having to relive the tragic nightmare that our beloved Lisa went through. Ending this painful process will be a major goal for our family. This is only the end of the legal aftermath. The execution of Orlando Hall will never stop the suffering we continue to endure. Please pray for our family as well as his.”

Hall was one of five men who prosecutors said kidnapped 16-year-old Lisa Rene from her home in Arlington, Texas, to get revenge on her two brothers for a botched $5,000 marijuana deal. Over two days, she was taken to Arkansas, gang-raped, bludgeoned with a shovel and buried alive.

Prosecutors say Rene was dragged from the family’s apartment as she pleaded with a 911 operator. “They’re trying to break down my door! Hurry up!” she said, according to a recording of the call.

On Feb. 12, 1996, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas sentenced Hall on the charges of kidnapping resulting in death, aiding and abetting, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise and aiding and abetting, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and aiding and abetting.


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