Published: Sun, December 09, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Tennessee carries out second electrocution of death row inmate of year

Tennessee carries out second electrocution of death row inmate of year

The day after Zagorski's execution, Miller and three other Tennessee death row inmates filed another lawsuit in a U.S. district court in Nashville arguing that the state's lethal injection and electrocution protocols violated the constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Attorneys for 61-year-old inmate David Earl Miller had previously filed two applications seeking to halt the scheduled 7 p.m. execution at a Nashville prison.

A Tennessee inmate is expected Thursday to be the state's second in two months to die in an electric chair.

Both men who've died by electric chair in Tennessee this year actively chose electrocution over lethal injection, which they argued would cause even more pain. His attorneys argued that the state's lethal injection method causes a prolonged and torturous death.

David Earl Miller, 61, was convicted of killing 23-year-old Lee Standifer in 1981 in Knoxville.

Asked by the warden whether he had any last words before he was executed, Miller replied: "Beats being on death row", department spokesman Tylee Tracer said.

Tennessee has executed its longest-serving death row inmate, who became the second person to be killed in the state's electric chair in just over a month.

In Tennessee, inmates whose crimes were committed before 1999 can choose electrocution over lethal injection. Standifer was a mentally handicapped woman who had been on a date with Miller the night she was repeatedly beaten, stabbed and dragged into some woods.

No witnesses from either Miller's family or Standifer's were present for the execution, but Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor read a brief statement from a woman from OH who did not want her name given.

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The electric chair is an available alternative to lethal injection in nine states.

The execution was carried out much like that of Edmund Zagorski in November.

Because Miller chose the electric chair himself, it can not be considered unconstitutional, the Associated Press reported.

Miller believes death by electrocution would be less painful than by the state's lethal injection mix, court documents said.

The builder of Tennessee's electric chair had warned it could malfunction before the executions but the state went ahead anyway.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam declined an 11th-hour bid for clemency, the governor's office said in a statement on Thursday. It agreed to hear a case out of Florida after a series of botched executions there.

Courts in Georgia and Nebraska have said the electric chair is unconstitutional.

Mr Dunham said he was not aware of any state other than Tennessee where inmates were choosing electrocution over lethal injection.

An inmate in the USA has chosen to be executed in the electric chair after arguing that lethal injections are not humane.

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