With Support of Navajo Nation, Lezmond Mitchell Asks Pres. Trump to Commute His Death Sentence Before August 26 Execution Date

With Support of Navajo Nation, Lezmond Mitchell Asks President Trump to Commute His Death Sentence Before August 26 Execution Date

Navajo President to Appear Before U.S. Pardon Attorney Today, Stating in New Letter that Mitchell’s Commutation Would Honor “Our Religious and Traditional Beliefs”

(Washington, D.C.) Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez personally appealed to U.S. President Donald Trump to request clemency for Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American person under a federal death sentence. President Nez is scheduled to appear before the U.S. Pardon Attorney later today to personally advocate on behalf of Mr. Mitchell’s petition for executive clemency.

In a letter [https://tinyurl.com/y59d3a9v], President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer called on the American president to demonstrate respect for the Navajo Nation’s tribal sovereignty by commuting Mr. Mitchell’s sentence to life imprisonment with no possibility of release. He pointed to the tribe’s steadfast opposition to Mr. Mitchell’s execution in light of the tribe’s long-standing position on the death penalty for Native Americans, and noted,

“The United States Department of Justice sought the death penalty against Mr. Mitchell despite the Navajo Nation’s public opposition, against the express wishes of the victim’s family, and ostensibly against the recommendation of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. The Navajo Nation is respectfully requesting a commutation of the death sentence and the imposition of a life sentence for Mr. Mitchell. This request honors our religious and traditional beliefs, the Navajo Nation’s long-standing position on the death penalty for Native Americans, and our respect for the decision of the victim’s family…We need to address this issue to move forward in our trust of our federal partners and to continue to work on the importance of protecting our People.”

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