A few years ago, I wrote a song, “Ride to Terre Haute,” about U.S. Army Private Dwight J. Loving, the robberies and murders he committed, and what got him to Death Row, at Leavenworth Federal Prison. As noted in the song, condemned persons are taken from Leavenwoth Prison to Terre Haute, Indiana for execution. Loving's sentence was commuted to life in prison, in 2017.
The Bureau of Prison has scheduled Aug. 26, 2020, as the execution date for Lezmond Mitchell by lethal injection. Mitchell is the only American Indian on Death Row in the United States. He is a Navajo Nation Tribal Citizen. The 2001 murder of a woman and her grandchild was committed on the Navajo Reservation. The Navajo Nation is opposing this execution of one of their citizens.
“With the enactment of the Federal Death Penalty Act, Congress made a commitment to the Native American peoples that no Native American would be subjected to the death penalty for a crime committed against a fellow Native American on Native American land unless the tribe consented.” – Native News Online Tuesday August 25th, 2020. Please read the article.
The Federal Government, overstepping their jurisdiction, and circumventing laws and treaties, charged and convicted Lezmond Mitchell of carjacking, saying the carjacking resulted in the deaths of the victims. The Navajo Nation opposes the execution, along with the victims’ families and the U.S. Attorney’s Office…and me. (John Ashcroft was the A.G. that pushed this conviction.).
One of the lines from my song, “Eyes and Teeth” mentions “On the plate for today is a serving of Justice.” I think this serving of justice has been overcooked.