A federal inmate has been executed for kidnapping, raping and burying alive a Texas teenager in 1994.
Orlando Hall was executed Thursday night in Terre Haute, Indiana, after the Supreme Court denied a request to stop the execution. Hall, 49, is the eighth inmate to be executed by the federal government this year after a 17-year hiatus on executions.
He was sentenced to death for the 1994 kidnapping, rape, and murder of 16-year-old Lisa Rene – an honor roll student with dreams of becoming a doctor. The US Supreme Court sided with the Justice Department on Hall’s execution.
Hall and several accomplices ran a marijuana trafficking operation in Arkansas in 1994, according to a Department of Justice statement. After a failed drug transaction involving $4,700, they drove to Texas to the home of the man they believed had stolen their money.
The man’s 16-year-old sister, Lisa Rene, was home and refused to let them inside, the statement said. Although she had no connection with the drug transaction, the men broke into the apartment, kidnapped her at gunpoint and fled in a car to an Arkansas motel.
Rene was repeatedly raped in the car and at the motel. When Hall realized she knew too much, the statement said, he and his accomplices took her to a park where they had dug a grave. They beat her with a shovel, then buried her alive, according to the statement.
In 1995, a federal jury found Hall guilty of kidnapping and killing Rene and unanimously recommended a death sentence, according to the Department of Justice statement. And all his subsequent appeals were rejected.
According to Hall’s attorneys, he never denied his participation in Rene’s killing and showed remorse after receiving the death sentence. The attorneys say Hall did not receive a fair trial because of a racially biased prosecutor that prohibited Black jurors from serving and had inadequate assistance of counsel.