Freshman Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., is taking heat after urging her followers to “say their names” in reference to 13 inmates executed during President Trump’s term, including a self-proclaimed White supremacist who murdered an Arkansas family in 1996.
Bush listed the following names: Daniel Lee, Wesley Purkey, Dustin Honken, Lezmond Mitchell, Keith Nelson, William LeCroy Jr., Christopher Vialva, Orlando Hall, Brandon Bernard, Alfred Bourgeois, Lisa Montgomery, Corey Johnson and Dustin Higgs.
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“The 13 people murdered by Trump’s death row killing spree … Say their names,” she wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Many civil rights activists have used the phrase “say their names” to raise awareness for Black people who died at the hands of police.
Bush’s critics questioned her use of the word “murder” and urged her to express sympathy with the convicted criminals’ victims instead.
“These people weren’t murdered. They were legally executed after convictions for horrendous crimes, being sentenced to the death penalty, and going through countless appeals,” one Twitter user wrote. “You can oppose the death penalty as a punishment without pretending that the people executed were victims or that carrying out those executions is comparable to murder.”
Meanwhile, Bush’s supporters applauded her for having a consistent approach to opposing the death penalty.
Many pointed out the horrendous nature of Lee’s crimes. The White supremacist died in July in the first federal execution since 2003.
Lee was convicted of multiple offenses, including three counts of murder in aid of racketeering in the 1996 slayings of William Frederick Mueller, his wife Nancy Ann Mueller and his 8-year-old stepdaughter, Sarah Elizabeth Powell, in Arkansas.
Mueller was a local gun dealer and the bodies of him and his family were discovered five months after they went missing. They had been shot to death and had plastic bags covering their heads, sealed with duct tape. Their bodies were weighed down by rocks and dumped in the Illinois bayou.
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“I didn’t do it,” Lee said before he was executed. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but I’m not a murderer.”
The execution was the first after the Trump administration announced last year it would be making a return back to capital punishment methods.
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Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.