Orlando Cordia Hall

On September 24, 1994, Orlando Hall, a Pine Bluff, Arkansas, marijuana trafficker, and Bruce Webster traveled to Dallas to buy a large quantity of the drug. He paid $4,700 to two brothers, with the understanding that they would return with the marijuana.

When the men claimed that their car and the money had been stolen, Hall and Webster went to their apartment in Arlington, Texas. The brothers were not home, but their sister, 16-year old Lisa Rene, was home.

Two days of horrific violence followed. The men broke into the apartment, kidnapped Lisa, drove her to Pine Bluff, where she was repeatedly raped. On September 26, they drove to a nearby park, beat and buried Rene, and set her on fire.

The 1994 Crime Bill, which significantly expanded the federal death penalty, had been signed by President Clinton two weeks earlier. The federal capital charges filed against Hall and Webster were the first such charges filed under the new law.

Orlando Hall was convicted in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on October 31, 1995; his jury was all white. Though the case against him was strong, his counsel failed to pursue important issues particularly in the penalty phase of his trial.

Bruce Webster was also sentenced to death. His death sentence was overturned also twenty-five years later after an appellate court found that he was intellectually disabled.

Orlando Hall was executed by lethal injection at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, on November 19, 2020.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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