Tennessee Inmate Executed After Choosing The Electric Chair
Tennessee Inmate Executed After Choosing The Electric Chair
A Tennessee death row inmate is set to die in the electric chair. He didn’t want the lethal injection.
04 November, 2018, 08:20
A court has rejected the latest legal challenge by death row inmate Edmund Zagorski to his scheduled November 1 execution, finding "this late-hour appeal to be meritless".
A Tennessee inmate's final words were "let's rock" moments before he became the first man executed in the electric chair in that state since 2007.
In a 1984 trial, prosecutors said Zagorski lured John Dotson and Jimmy Porter into a wooded area in Robertson County under the pretense of a drug deal.
"Should he change his mind and want to have dinner, his meal will be the same as the one provided to the other inmates at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution", the TDOC said when Zagorski chose not to select a last meal. His federal public defender, Kelley Henry, said that Zagorski chose the electric chair because Tennessee's three-drug lethal injection protocol "is certain torture" and death by electrocution would be quicker and less painful.
Daryl Holton - who killed his three young sons and his ex-wife's daughter - chose to die by the electric chair in 2007.
Zagorski's electrocution was the first in the United States since 2013, when Virginia killed a man who murdered two people.
The execution was carried out minutes after the...
Edmund Zagorski, convicted for slaying two people, became the first man to be electrocuted in the state for over a decade.
Following the executions of Billy Ray Irick and Edmund Zagorski, one other Tennessee inmate is scheduled to be executed this year on December 6. In addition to electric chairs, Leuchter built, refurbished and consulted on gas chambers, lethal injection machines and a gallows for at least 27 states.
Despite the decision, Zagorski's attorneys said he was forced into a "terrible choice", arguing that electrocution though "relatively fast" is also "dreadful and grim".
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Tennessee last carried out an execution in August, using lethal injection to put to death a man convicted of raping and murdering a child in 1986.
Zagorski could be seen smiling as officials, preparing to carry out the first execution by electrocution in the U.S. since 2013, strapped him down.
Lethal injection is the preferred method of putting people to death in all U.S. states that have the death penalty, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. During two executions in the 1990s smoke and flames shot from the condemned inmates' heads.
Zagorski's lawyers had unsuccessfully sought a request for a stay, and argued it was unconstitutional to force him to choose between the electric chair and lethal injection.
Reporter Adam Tamburin, with the Tennessean newspaper, described Zagorski as having a grin on his face at one time, until a sponge and helmet were put over his face.
Tennessee's electric chair was inspected on October 10 and found to meet the criteria for an execution, state documents show. Every state now requires juries to weigh that option in death penalty cases.
According to CBS affiliate WTVF, Miller has spent longer time than any other Tennessee inmate on death row.
The device was originally rebuilt in the late 1980s by a self-taught execution expert who anxious the device would malfunction on Thursday.
The last person to be executed by electrocution in the USA was Robert Gleason, who was put to death in Virginia in 2013.
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