NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Latest on a Tennessee inmate set to be executed Thursday (all times local):
Attorneys for a Tennessee inmate set to be executed this week say he prefers to die by electric chair, calling the method the “lesser of two evils” compared to lethal injection.
Attorney Kelley Henry said Monday that they filed the request with the state roughly two hours after the State Supreme Court ruled Tennessee’s three-drug lethal injection protocol is constitutional. The decision paved the way for the execution of Zagorski on Thursday.
In Tennessee, death row inmates whose offenses came before January 1999 can choose the electric chair or lethal injection. The last time Tennessee put someone to death by electric chair was 2007.
Zagorski was sentenced in 1984 for the slayings of two men during a drug deal in Robertson County.
Gov. Bill Haslam already has said he won’t intervene in Zagorski’s case.
The Tennessee Supreme Court on Monday ruled the state’s three-drug lethal injection protocol is constitutional, paving the way for the execution of Edmund Zagorski on Thursday.
Attorneys for the inmate have argued that the state’s chosen method of execution violates the 8th Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Attorney Kelley Henry said Monday that she will ask for a stay of Zagorski’s execution to allow the U.S. Supreme Court time to review the case.
In an emailed statement, Henry wrote, “Today a divided Tennessee Supreme Court paved the way for torturous executions.”
The majority opinion for the court found the inmates failed to prove there was a readily available alternative method of execution that would be more humane.
Justice Sharon Lee dissented.